Tag Archives: NightLight

NightLight update

28 Jun

I’ve just been doing the latest NightLight prayer newsletter for church, and I thought it might be good to post a bit of an update here because I know a lot of you have been praying for us faithfully over the last eighteen months.

But first…for those of you who don’t know what on earth I’m talking about when I mention NightLight…

NightLight is a project which Josh and I set up which involves volunteers from many of the churches in Aberystwyth.  It came about in November 2008 after several members of the congregation expressed concern at the state people were getting themselves into drinking at the weekends. We’re a university town and on an average night we can have several thousand drinkers crowding into our small town centre.

We’re out from 11pm-3am every Saturday night, working with the police and the council to patrol the streets and make sure that people are okay. We’re not there to condemn people, but we are there to show that we know of a better way, we’re there to stand with people when they’re sick and all their friends have left them, we’re there to walk people home when they’re lost and confused, and we’re there to comfort and pray with people when they need a listening ear.

So what have been up to in the last 6 months of so?

As always with a project of this kind, the hype and excitement of the project’s beginning has died down. However, I have continued to be so impressed by the volunteer’s willingness to serve and to love continually week by week, even when they’re tired and they have got other stuff going on.

Relationships with the council, the police, doorstaff and licensees have gone from strength to strength, with God doing more than we could ever have hoped for! We’re now welcomed onto the streets when at the beginning we (as ‘the church’) were looked at with suspicion. I just can’t get my mind around how much God has been changing people’s attitudes and mindset…and also just how obvious it has been that God’s love really does change things out there on the streets!

Very excitingly, Josh and I have been involved with helping to set up two other projects around Wales, which are working to the ‘NightLight model’. It’s aimed for small towns so it works well in our area.
It has always been my prayer that the vision would spread across our area and it’s so so so so exciting that it is, and so quickly. AND the police and councils of these places are actively seeking out the churches help in response to the drinking culture which is getting out of hand.

However exciting and ‘successful’ the project is been, it’s often on my mind when I’m patrolling the streets at 2.30am and I’m ready for my bed, that if we have loved one person that evening it makes it all worth while. Even if didn’t have this positive feedback, it would still be important to be getting out there and loving these vulnerable people.

Some excerpts from the incident book:

“Had a chat with some youths on the seafront. After small talk we began to talk about what they thought of Jesus. They were really engaging and we were able to answer some of their questions”

“A girl was lying face down in a gutter. We helped her get up and walked her to a taxi.”

“Inn on the Pier called us on the radio because there was a girl being sick outside. She could hardly stand, wasn’t responding and was in a bad way. She was staying with a friend who was also very drunk, so we called an ambulance to sort her out.”

“Listened and prayed with someone who was crying in the seafront shelter. Planning to meet them and bring them to church tomorrow (this morning!!)”

“Gave flip flips to a group of girls who were walking barefooted. They were happy that ‘God saved their feet!’”

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NightLight Video #2

24 Jan

Our friend, and fellow NightLight volunteer, Ben has made this video about the work of NightLight as part of his degree course.

You might even be able to spot me on this one!
Enjoy.

To see our other video or to learn more about the project visit our website, here. 

Listen up!

31 Oct

We’re going to be live on the radio tomorrow!

Listen out at 8.10am (GMT) on Radio 4…Josh is playing the drums!

BBC Radio 4 92-95FM or listen online here

(and be glad that you don’t have to be in your seat by 7.30am after doing NightLight!)

Aberystwyth NightLight Video

3 Oct

Facing drama head on

26 Aug

I like to think that I’m pretty calm in a crisis.

I can see members of my family sniggering in the back row right now. I admit, I’m a bit of a drama queen, but I like to imagine that however much I’m screaming with terror inside I can put a brave face on things and get on with it calmly and efficiently.

Being a part of the NightLight team has been great experience for me. We have had to deal with situations, both on the street and off, that I would never have imagined that I would even ever come across, let alone be coordinating.
Dealing with collapsed individuals, giving statements to the police and mopping up minor injuries is par for the course. You expect it because that is why we are there. In a way it’s easier to deal with in that context. We’re out there to do a job and you just work as a team and get on with it.

However, what I still haven’t got used to is that it’s hard for us to turn off from it all. I’ve noticed that off duty care professionals find it difficult not to think about people with a professional mindset and to a certain extent we feel the same way.

I know as Christians we should be looking out for people that need help all the time. I’m not saying that NightLight is the only way that I am willing to serve people and that any other time is my day off…it’s just that I’m more used to what to look out for now. We can now spot the drug users and the trouble makers. It’s easier to sense when people are just having fun and when things are going to kick off. We know the ‘regulars’ and see them around town all the time.

And that’s why when a drunk guy started a fight last Thursday in the early evening in the middle of town, Josh was the only one to step in. Stepping in to break up a fight is always a debatable move, but as the guy calmed down it turned out okay in the end.

But when the drunk man then jumped on top of a moving car and kicked in the windshield, still it was only Josh that actually did anything to help.

The lady in the car was really shaken up, but everything was sorted out and the police were really grateful to Josh for helping out. But why didn’t anyone else do anything?

I’m not suggesting that we should always wade into any situation that should be left for the police. I’ve had the training and I know that would do more harm than good. But since we’ve started NightLight Josh and I seem to have come in contact with more and more dramas that we’ve spotted just walking around town.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that Aberystwyth has suddenly turned into a pit of debauchery, brawling and despair, but just that we didn’t actually have our eyes open before. Over the last year or so God has been opening our eyes and giving us bigger hearts to love and help people, and so now it’s much harder to walk on by on the other side of the road.

So, I’m challenging you today to walk around your neighbourhood with your eyes open. I’m not just talking about sorting out major emergencies; I’m talking about stopping to speak to the lonely old woman who live three doors up, or offering to do a bit of shopping for a sick neighbour.
Hey, if that’s too difficult why not just try giving a stranger in the street a huge smile.

They might think you’re a complete weirdo…or it might just be the only smile they receive that day.

I’ve been beavering away…

29 Apr

…making a new website for NightLight.

Check it out

www.abernightlight.co.uk

In the news on my day off

26 Feb

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Nightlight has made the Cambrian News again this week for helping with the aftermath of an assault on Saturday night. As I wrote in my last post I was nervous as to how they would interpret my quotes, but it has come out well, and it’s really great to hear that the man who was assaulted is now off life support.


Read the rest of this entry

NightLight

20 Nov

Thanks to all those that have spoken to us about NightLight and also sent us encouraging messages via Facebook.

 

It was our first time out on Saturday and from our point of view it went really well. A few of the door staff seemed a bit wary, but on the whole everyone was very friendly and we were able to help out CCTV and doorstaff a few times.


We were also able to give out some flip flops and make sure a few people got their taxis home safely. Everyone seemed very interested in what we were doing!

Well worth it and I can’t wait to do it again!