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NightLight ‘angels’ celebrate fifth anniversary

Night Light Project,Carmarthen.Pic Jeff Connell 05/11/15


A VOLUNTEER team in Carmarthen who aim to help people on the streets of Carmarthen are celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Carmarthen NightLight began five years ago when three nervous volunteers stepped out onto Carmarthen’s streets for the first time to begin helping out those who need help.

The team initially had little idea of how people had been out would be offered items such as flip flops to those who had been out dancing, and a bottle of water for those who had consumed too much alcohol.

Co-ordinator for NightLight, Rev. Coralie Steel said: “We need not have worried. Once we’d explained that we were from local churches and chapels and were there to help if we could, people welcomed us with open arms – often literally!”

Over the years the team have received hugs and handshakes from people on the streets of Carmarthen, and have been hailed as ‘angels’ and ‘legends’ for the support they offer to those who need it most.

Coralie continued: “After we’d been going out every Saturday night for a few weeks, people knew who we were and would seek us out for flip flops, water, and a plaster for damaged toes or a lollipop.”

The volunteers at NightLight head out from about 11pm, until around 3am, depending on how busy it is out and the amount of people that require assistance. 

Some of the efforts they carry out include rousing people who have fallen asleep in doorways or allies, and encouraged them to make their way home, being safe from the cold.

They have also routinely met girls who wear dresses to go out but are left shivering the cold after the night has ended and given them foil blankets for warmth whilst they wait for a taxi home.

The team can also offer a listening ear to anyone who is feeling upset or lost, and often reunite friends that have been separated on a night out.

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Coralie added: “We have never been threatened while out on the streets. We are always in mobile phone contact with the other half of our team, who stay in the NightLight base while the street team is out, and we carry a radio so that we can contact the police if necessary.

Superintendent Claire Parmenter of Dyfed Powys Police said: “The NightLight facility provides a valuable additional resource to alert us to any crime or incidents so that officers can act swiftly.

In addition, the NightLight volunteers deal with people who are not causing any real issues but sometimes need assistance in locating friends or a taxi to get them home safely.

This assistance avoids officers being called to assist and leaves them free to deal with more serious incidents or calls for service.”

Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for community safety Cllr Pam Palmer said: “The Carmarthenshire Community Safety Partnership has supported Carmarthen NightLight from the start. It has proved to be a very successful project which has been able to help a good many people over the years it’s been operating.

“With the fifth anniversary just celebrated we are continuing to support NightLight in various ways such as funding flip flops for the volunteers to hand out, covering their insurance costs and having updated leaflets printed for them to recruit more volunteers.”

Coralie finalised: ““We are proud of what Carmarthen NightLight has achieved during the past five years and hope we will be able to carry on looking after people who are out enjoying themselves for many years to come.”

Anyone interested in joining the NightLight Street Team should contact the Co-ordinator, the Rev Coralie Steel on 01267 236369, email: [email protected], website: carmarthennightlight.org.uk.