Keeping safe while visiting Canal Street
TheVillage Angels are a team of volunteers from The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, easily recognisable through their pink ‘high-vis’ vests, late at night and early into the mornings at weekends and other big events throughout the year, who have already donated over 1,000 hours of their time to help people.
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What do The Angels do?
Listen to you!
We’re a friendly and non-judgemental ear for anyone that needs it.
We’ve talked to people about everything from someone’s experience of getting homophobically bullied in the workplace to recounts of domestic abuse and everything in between. The Angels represent the LGF and are able to take the services and information that our charity offers out onto the streets. We’ll talk to anyone about (almost) anything!
“Talked to a young man who was having a lot of trouble with his partner and was struggling with recently finding out that he might be HIV positive. He told us that he was feeling very low and didn’t know what to do with himself. We talked to him for a long time and calmed him down, got him to work out how he could get home safely and then told him to come to the LGF in the week for counselling, testing and other support.” Angels Report
The Village Angels are linked into the Nite Net radio system which means we can communicate to venue door-staff in the area as well as CCTV control.
The Angels are not the Police and we are not there as crime enforcers, but if we see anything that we think is going to harm someone we have the power to report it and get help quickly. This is just another tool for us to keep everyone who is in The Village as safe as possible!
We also encourage individuals to report crimes, with a specific focus on hate crimes.
If you have been a victim of homophobia, transphobia or biphobia whilst accessing The Village this is not ok, and needs to be reported. The Village Angels can and will help you to do this.
“Heard at least ten incidents of transphobic comments directed at Sparkle weekend attendees through the night. We challenged them in the moment where we could, and supported people who felt victimised to report the incidents.”Angels Report
Support when things don't go to plan!
We’ve dealt with a lot of incidents involving intoxicated people. We never judge, and will always seek to help you out if you’ve had one too many or got yourself into a bad situation on a night out.
The Angels regularly help people who have lost their phone / wallet / friends to get home safely. We are there to help vulnerable people, and will help you if you need it!
“We saw a young man who was sat down on Canal Street, very drunk and very upset. We collected his money and the rest of his wallet for him (all scattered on the pavement) and escorted him back to his hotel safely.” Angels Report
Tell you where to go!
We give out directions to Village newcomers and regulars alike.
Every weekend we get people to cash machines, taxi ranks, public transport links and give people advice on which venues might suit them to help people’s nights go smoothly!
“Spoke to a young woman who was brand new to The Village and to Manchester in general. She had no idea where to go out that night and so we talked her through the different venues and different nights going on that night. Told us that she was considering just going straight back home before we talked to her, but now she knew about what The Village had to offer she was excited to carry on her night out!” Angels Report
The odd medical emergency!
We have Angels who are trained First Aiders and this has helped a lot of people in their time of need.
Scrapes, bruises, twisted ankles, head injuries, seizures – The Angels have been there through it all.
We are not paramedics and can only offer basic first aid whilst the Ambulance Service are on their way. The Angels will always stay nearby whilst the experts are at work, dealing with crowds and making sure both paramedic and patient are as safe as possible.
“I am writing to thank your street team for looking after my daughter late Saturday / early hours of Sunday morning in Manchester. My daughter had fallen and hurt her foot badly and your street team were amazing!! If they had not have been there to assist her I dread to think what would have happened…” Angels Report
The Village Angels also work closely with Greater Manchester Police, CityCo, The Village Business Association, as well as security companies, venue owners and other key partners in order to ensure that people have the best time they can in Manchester’s Gay Village.
Here's some advice and personal safety tips, and don't forget to talk to our Village Angels for more information!
It’s important to know your limits. Drinking too much can impair your judgement on people and situations, so stay in control!
Make sure you have something to eat before you start drinking. Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
Try breaking up your evening with soft drinks or water between alcoholic beverages. Pace yourself.
Keep your wits about you and trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem or feel right, it probably isn’t.
Keep your eye on drinks to make sure nothing is added to them. If someone offers to buy you a drink, go to the bar with them so you can see if being poured.
Safety in numbers!
Stick with your mates. Make sure you’ve got the contact details of at least a couple of people in your group.
Stay with your mates and don’t wander the streets alone. If you get split up from your friends and can’t find them, tell one of the Village Angels. They’ll help you look!
Make sure you know how you’re getting home before you set off out. It’s a good idea to keep your taxi fair/bus fair separate to your spending money so you don’t accidentally spend it while you’re out.
Tell family or friends where you’re going and what time you’re expected to be home.
Take a mobile phone with you. Having a cheaper, basic phone is a good idea for taking on a night out. Make sure it’s charged, there’s credit on and your friends contact details are in there, just in case you need to make any calls.
Don’t get into a car with a stranger.
Don’t feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do, anything you know is wrong or dangerous.
If you see any volatile situations, it’s better to stay out of the way. It’s pointless trying to reason with a drunken person. It’s best to leave it to the venue staff or the police.
If one of your friends is a bit worse for wear, stay with them and look after them. You’d want someone to look after you if it was the other war round.
Don’t flash the cash! You don’t know who might be watching. Also be aware when drawing cash out from a machine.
Keep your mobile phone and wallet out of sight and only take out the cash you need for that evening.
Don’t leave any bags unattended.
Try not to go over the top with flashy jewellery and watches. Don’t be a target.
Keep a note of you phone number, SIM card and serial (IMEI) number in a safe place. (To get your IMEI code dial *#06# and your phone will display it for you).
You can register the serial number of your phone, iPod or MP3 player at www.immobilise.com and police can instantly check the database and return your items if they turn up.
You might know a great short cut, but if it’s dark and late at night, it’s better to stay to well-lit areas and main roads. Don’t risk it!
Plan your route home carefully.
Try and look confident and in control while making your way home even if you don’t really feel it. Looking like you’re lost could give off the wrong signals.
Stay with friends and try and carry a personal attack alarm wherever possible.
If you suspect trouble, or think anyone else is in trouble, get to a safe place and call the Police as soon as possible. Dial 999 in an emergency. If you think the issue is less urgent you can call the Greater Manchester Police on 101.
Kindly made possible by the Office of the Greater Manchester Police & Crime Commisioner.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this initiative.