Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Healing on the Streets of Camberley

Healing on the Streets Since the launch of Healing on the Streets in Camberley on 29 January this year, they are starting to get established as part of the scene in Park Street on Saturdays, between 1.30 – 3.30pm.

The group aim to heal people of sickness or disease, through the power of prayer.

They are another project sponsored by Camberley Churches Together (CCT), who brought you Street Angels in Camberley. Rev Mark Chester, former chairman of CCT, said “I am really delighted to see another Camberley Churches Together initiative such as this”.

We gave a heads-up last year that this group were going to launch in 2011, and they have now been running for a month. This is just some of the feedback they have received …

  • "After prayer, I could breath more easily and deeper." (19/Feb/2011)
  • "I did not feel any difference in my knee after your prayers, but by the morning after it was feeling completely healed." (13/Feb/2011)
  • "I did not have time to stay for prayer today, but I am planning on coming back on a further Saturday." (12/Feb/2011)
  • "Before I sat down I had pain in my back and legs.  When I got up I could feel less pain in my back and was able to stand without stumbling." (29/Jan/2011)

So, with nothing to loose, sounds like it might be worth trying out the next Saturday you are in town. Look out for their distinctive blue flag in Park Street between 1.30pm – 3.30pm and check them out.

For more information on Healing on the Streets in Camberley, access their website at http://www.healingcamberley.org.uk where they can also be contacted.


Friday, 18 February 2011

Frontline Roundup on Debt


“I am hopeful that, especially if we can get Surrey Heath onside, we shall see a substantial increase in clients in 2011” – Charles Bruce, Frontline.

Frontline, the free debt and benefit advise service in Camberley, launched on October 2010. We thought it would be good to have on update on how they have been getting on in the community.

Charles Bruce (one of the advisers at Frontline), “since we launched in autumn last year we have had nine requests for help. These have not been spread evenly over the period. Things started very slowly but are, progressively, picking up pace. “

One case came from a leaflet in a doctors’ surgery, two from Camberley churches, one from the Old Dean advice centre (which is closing at the end of February), one from a Sure Start Centre and, rewardingly, two from recommendations by existing clients.

Frontline volunteers have been busy promoting their service to all four Sure Start Centers in Surrey Heath, and have an appointment with the Manager of Surrey Heath Housing Services. Frontlinelogo24

Charles said “I had a very good reception at three of the Sure Start Centers sadly the fourth just asked for leaflets to be dropped off but couldn’t spare time to speak to me. However, the managers from Bristow and Pine Ridge were very enthusiastic and the manager at Chobham has already introduced one client with, probably, another to follow”.

Dropping of leaflets and sticking up posters has been a useful way of advertising Frontline, but the main opportunity is in sitting in front of people like Sure Start Managers and getting them onside to promote the service.

The future does look bright for Frontline. Charles said “I am hopeful that, especially if we can get Surrey Heath onside, we shall see a substantial increase in clients in 2011.”

For more information on Frontline, and for details of how to contact them, see our previous article.

We believe Frontline offer a really useful service, especially during the current economic times, but we’re interested in your thoughts.

Would you use this service? Do you think is it needed? How can they best get in touch with the people who need them?

Friday, 4 February 2011

Camberley Street Angels - Part 3 the “Street Angels Effect”

 2011_0108StreetAngels “I love you Street Angels, you really are amazing”

In part 1 in this series on Street Angels, we took a look at their kit. In part 2, we heard from the police and clubs. Now in part 3, we discover the “Street Angels Effect”.

As I joined the Angels, it became clear they vary in age, and backgrounds, which seems to be one of their key strengths. For example, the eldest Street Angel in Camberley is Anne Bannan, aged 75. So why does she do it, and what do the clubbers think about her? Isn’t she too old to make any difference to young people out on the town? Well, from what I saw, she is a valuable member of the team, and her age is her secret weapon. She said “I love it, I really enjoy it. I like to talk to people”. It seems people also like to talk to Anne. She regularly gets hugs and kisses from StreetAngels2011_0107(029)revellers, out having a good time. I caught up with Anne, and Richard Tudor, as they were chatting to Kellie, out with her girlfriends enjoying the atmosphere. Kellie said “I wouldn’t allow my mum out”. She really respected Anne, and valued the presence of the Angels on the streets. “I love you Street Angels, you really are amazing”, said Kellie, as we parted.

Peter Caddick (one of the Angels) mentioned a so called “Street Angels Effect”, resulting, he believed, in more people out on the town, since the Angels started patrolling a year ago. This got me thinking, that part of this “Street Angels Effect” is that the Angels are like having your mum, dad and grandparents out with you on the town. You wouldn’t start a fight in front of your mum would you? They make you feel calm, and homely. The general feeling is that of love and admiration for what these volunteers do each weekend. OK, but maybe that’s not the whole story. Camberley has soldiers out partying too. Surely the likes of Anne would be no match for a soldier? Perhaps not, but ex army officers are also Angels. It has been known for an Angel to order a soldier to drop and do 20 press-ups, for swearing in front of them! So perhaps respect is a very big part of the effect too. These “officer angels” have seen some action, and can really empathise with what our soldiers are feeling, and how they are reacting. This earns the Angels great respect. Perhaps this is another part of the “Street Angels Effect”.

But they aren’t just a friendly face to chat to in the evenings. They are trained in first aid, and carry over 20 items in their kit bag, to assist people in need. Everything from foil blankets to sharps bins. They also witness some pretty upsetting sights. Whilst I was out with them, there was a heart attack, and a suspected miscarriage.


When I caught up with Peter Caddick and Kathy Fuller, they were chatting to Charlotte, Zoe and Sami outside Que Passa. The girls had been handed lollypops, one of the Angels signature marks. Lollies are very popular (especially the vimto ones apparently). They gain trust, keep noise levels down, help prevent fights, and stop arguments. That’s a lot to think about next time you give your child a lollypop.

As we entered the early hours of Saturday morning, I came away from Camberley feeling a great sense of calm, happiness and full of admiration for what the Street Angels are doing, and the difference they are making to the lives of young people out at the weekends. I guess you could call it the “Street Angels Effect”.

This is the final part of our three part series of Camberley Street Angels. Part 1 covered their “kit”, and part 2 the response from police and club owners.