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Happy New Year 2015 from CNI Network
 
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Welcome to 2015 - a great year of celebration as Northern Ireland Nightlight celebrates 20 years, Scotland's Dundee Street Chaplains 15 years and England's Halifax Street Angels 10 years - 2015:10.
Early day motion for Street Angels - CNI Network:

CLEVELAND STREET ANGELS
That this House commends the work of Boro Angels, the Guisborough Nightlights, the Hartlepool Town Pastors, the Redcar Beacons, the Stockton Town Pastors and all other Street Angels programmes; notes that Cleveland-based Street Angels have volunteered over 6,500 hours within the last year to provide a caring presence and support, without judgement and regardless of circumstance, for people on nights out who are in need of assistance; congratulates Cleveland-based Street Angels for its efforts in keeping Cleveland safe and clean through administering first aid to more than 160 people, recovering more than 4,500 bottles and glasses and helping 76 vulnerable people into taxis; and recognises the tremendous service that Street Angels programmes provide to communities throughout Cleveland.

Online copy of the motion
M
edia Release from Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner
P
olice praise Hartlepool Street Angels
Many CNI Network projects paused over the Christmas patrols to remember all those who have tragically died following a night out. The Manchester Street Angels remembered Adam Pickup with a midnight balloon release whilst in Bedford the Street Angels remembered Robert Gill who was murdered. Both these tragedies led to the formation of Street Angels projects.  

Sadly there are too many deaths of mainly young people in and around the night-time economy - hypothermia, a punch, canals and rivers, falling over... The vision of CNI Network is to work with and in communities to support local teams to offer safe people and safe places within the night-time economy. Please pray for us and local projects as we continue to see this vision fulfilled.

Friends remember teenager who died after a night out in Manchester

Family and friends of Adam Pickup mark first anniversary of his death
 
CNI Network's #StaySafe campaign helped make Mad Friday a largely peaceful night in many communities across the UK. The campaign was featured in The Telegraph, Daily Mail, FeMailPremier Radio, Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Five Live, several local media (including the Halifax Courier) as well as on Facebook and Twitter. 

Paul Blakey, founder of CNI Network, commented, "The heart of all we do is to keep people safe within the night-time community. Mad Friday has traditionally lived up to its name but the reports I have heard this year from our local projects seem to reflect a night that was busy but peaceful with the vast majority of people having fun and drinking sensibly."

Please continue to pray for safety and share the #StaySafe message on social media. 

Image above - Huddersfield Street Angels hand out thank you treats to pubs and club staff - see report.
A new book tells the incredible story of the Street Angels and the difference the project has made not only in Halifax - but worldwide.

Halifax-born Paul Blakey MBE launched Halifax Street Angels in November 2005 after seeing the problems the town faced first hand.
 
His recently published book, Street Angels, tells how the project went from an idea to a model which has changed communities for the better across the country, and further afield.

Paul said: “I was inspired to set up Halifax Street Angels after seeing the need for it in Halifax town centre, it was known as the Wild West of West Yorkshire.

“On any given Friday or Saturday night there were between 8,000 and 12,000 people in the town centre, violence had become fairly common, sexual assaults had unfortunately become fairly common, there was underage drinking, binge drinking and the town had really become a no-go area.

“What we saw on Friday and Saturday nights was quite horrendous - we regularly saw people throwing up, people wandering around with broken bottles, vomit all over the floor, blood all over the floor and people laying in gutters.”

This experience led Paul, and his wife Jean, to open the town’s fairtrade cafe up as a safe space and work with the police to make a difference.

The results were dramatic.

“In the first six weeks we helped 69 different people, ranging from elderly people that had gone to the theatre and walking them from the theatre to the bus stop, to a 14 year old girl who came up to us in the town centre four years later to tell us that the night had changed her life.

“She told us that because of the help and support we gave her, she realised her life was worth more than the life she was living.

“There’s now stories like that across the country, from the people we have helped.”

Following the success story of the Halifax Street Angels, the police recognised it as a model which worked and could be emulated in other towns facing similar issues.

And to accommodate the expansion of Street Angels, Paul founded the Christian Nightlife Initiatives (CNI) Network in July 2008 - which he now works on full time.

Now, more than 100 towns and cities across the UK have launched similar projects and schemes now also run in Magaluf, Ibiza and Tenerife.

“One of the hallmarks of the Street Angels projects across the country is that violent crime comes down, it reduces significantly,” Paul said.

“It’s about having people who care out on the streets of the town, simply caring for other people.

“One of our mottos is love the person in front of you and that can make such a massive impact and difference.”

In 2010, Paul was awarded an MBE and in 2012, received the Big Society award from David Cameron.

Source / More details and to purchase the book / Facebook page

CNI Network is in the process of sending a PDF copy of the book via email to Police and Crime Commissioners and MP's across the UK to showcase the amazing work that is happening through volunteers and the church in the night-time economy. 

The book is available at £4 to CNI Network linked projects and £5.30 for retailers and has a retail price of £7.99. To order email paul@cninetwork.org.uk (postage is extra - as a guide 10 books postage is £5, 30 books £7). Our hope is that local projects can use the book to raise money at talks, local churches, fundraising events, etc. 
Thank you to all who have supported CNI Network financially over 2014. As an organisation it costs just over £2300 a month to operate with two salaries (which realistically should be higher) and various on-costs (expenses, insurance, cost of running a charity, etc). Each month our regular expenditure is around £1000 more than our income and we currently have £4300 in our funds! If you are able to stand with us then please would you consider this. As a national umbrella organisation it is difficult to obtain grant funding as many funding bodies prefer to fund local work. Please visit this page on our web site for more details
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