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Soho Angels return to West End’s streets to help visitors get home safely this winter

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Soho Angels volunteers

Published: 8 December 2021

Welcome back Soho Angels

  • 20 women supported to get home safely during first patrol back
  • 7 ambulance call outs saved, taking pressure off A&E services
  • 13 people received medical support at Night Hub 

The Soho Angels are back on Westminster’s streets this December with a focus on tackling violence against women and girls, as part of Westminster City Council’s initiative to improve safety in the city.

The team of volunteers will be patrolling the streets of Soho to offer help to anyone who needs it to make sure they can get home safely.

Whether that is to help people who need water, someone to talk to or a safer place to sober up – they’re there to help members of the public end the night right. The Soho Angels will be running an on-street support unit from 10pm to 5am each Friday night in December. 

For people who need a safe space during their night out, the Soho Angels can help them at the Night Hub located at St Anne’s Church in Dean Street. The space is run by the Soho Angels and St John Ambulance volunteers who are on hand with medical support or somewhere for members of the public to wait for a taxi.

Each volunteer receives training from the Met Police, St John’s Ambulance, London Ambulance Service and the LGBT Foundation. The volunteers have also been trained to spot for signs of drink spiking. If they suspect or have been advised that a person may have been spiked, they will be taken to the Night Hub for medical evaluation and monitoring whilst they recover. Following a clinical assessment, the person will be reviewed, and a decision will be made about whether they need to be taken to hospital. 

On their first patrol back on Friday 3 December, 10 Soho Angels volunteers were busy helping vulnerable people enjoying a night out in the city, along with St John’s Ambulance volunteers and one emergency ambulance crew.

Across the night, 20 women were helped by the team to get home safely, 13 people were transported to the Night Hub to receive medical support, two women were supported with travel back home after getting their bags stolen and seven ambulance call outs were saved, resulting in less pressure on A&E services. 

Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council, said:

The Soho Angels are an incredible group of selfless volunteers who make a real difference to people visiting the West End for a night out. They are what Westminster is about, making the city’s nightlife a safe and inclusive place.

The volunteers and the Night Hub at St Anne’s Church provide a friendly face and a safe space for those who need it. They are also trained to have a focus on looking out for signs to protect women who appear vulnerable on a night out. We all need to look out for one another and keep each other safe, especially this festive period when we see vast numbers of people in the West End.

As part of Westminster City Council’s commitment to ensure everyone feels safe on the streets of Westminster, a new rebrand of Soho Angels will launch in the New Year which will see more volunteers operate across more areas of the city.

To improve safety across the city, we have an additional 50 Met Police officers now operating in the West End. Westminster City Council has also been collaborating with the Met Police to encourage hospitality businesses to promote the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign. People who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened can ask staff for ‘Angela’, and they will provide discrete support as needed.

Sign up to become a Soho Angel volunteer.