The Soho Angels, a team of volunteers giving up their time to help people end the night right, were out in force during last weekend’s Pride in London celebrations.
Run by Westminster City Council and the LGBT Foundation, the Soho Angels, who are recognisable in their pink reflective vests, provide support to anyone who needs it. From finding lost belongings or friends through to facilitating medical attention, the Soho Angels are there to help party-goers get home safely.
During Pride in London, around 40 Soho Angels worked two shifts covering 9am on Saturday to 7am the following morning. During the day they worked out of five St John’s Ambulance treatment centres, before opening two evening support hubs at St Anne’s Church in Dean Street and outside Charing Cross train station. The hubs were supported by a doctor, nurses and paramedics from St John Ambulance.
Overall, they helped more than 85 people including:
- One person who needed to go to A&E with a serious head injury.
- A further eight people who were taken to A&E in a St John’s Ambulance after being assessed by medical staff, meaning emergency services did not need to be called, saving the NHS an average of £250 per incident.
- Helped two people get home after losing their phones, keys and wallets.
Cllr Ian Adams, Westminster City Council LGBT+ Lead Member said:
“It is great that the Soho Angels were able to live up to their name and help people enjoy a safe and happy Pride weekend, while also saving the need for at least eight 999 ambulance callouts.
“We want to make Soho an even safer place for a night out and over a year expect the Soho Angels to help thousands of people and save hundreds of unnecessary ambulance call outs.”
The Soho Angels have specific training in LGBT inclusion and support, and part of their role is to ensure Soho nightlife remains safe, inclusive and understanding. They also receive in-depth training from Drinkaware, LGBT Foundation and St John Ambulance. Each ‘Angel’ must complete their training and be vetted before they can go out on the street.
During Pride in London weekend, the Soho Angels were supported by McDonald’s, which provided food for the volunteers as well as 400 bottles of water to give away. The Amba Hotel in Charing Cross provided an additional 400 bottles of water. Heaven Night Club provided security and two medics and National Rail Charing Cross provided the use of the station forecourt and toilet facilities. Safer West End Partnership also provided additional communication equipment for the Angels.
Click here to find out more including how to volunteer as a Soho Angel.