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Call for Angels to come forward


Call for Angels to come forward

A charitable trust is launching a recruitment drive for ‘Angels’ to take first aid skills and drug education messages into nightclubs and dance parties across New Zealand’s main cities.

The AngelCare Charitable Trust is calling for volunteers from across the dance community to undertake first aid and drug education training and then take that training into dance parties to keep their peers safe.

“AngelCare is a harm minimisation approach in which we send trained ‘Angels’ into dance parties to look out for people, help people that need it and promote safety across the dance community,” said AngelCare Director Matt Bowden.

“Unfortunately there are many hazards in the adult playground ranging from overheating to date rape to drugs and alcohol. What we are trying to do is equip young people with the skills and the confidence to look after their peers, promote safety messages and keep clubbers safe.”

Mr Bowden said volunteer ‘Angels’ would be given first aid training through the Order of St John, education into the effects and risks of certain drugs and training in non-confrontational communication.

“At the end of this training ‘Angels’ will have the confidence to take their skills into the dance community and to provide first aid when required until an ambulance arrives. We are a visible point of contact to access help and education when it is needed.

“This concept is working really well because young people trust our Angels and feel they can approach them. There is no threat of legal sanction – the focus is on keeping people safe and, in worst case scenarios, keeping them alive.”

Mr Bowden said recent developments in which four young people were taken to Wellington Hospital after a fantasy overdose highlighted the need for young people to be proactive in looking out for their friends.

“Unfortunately, people are continuing to make bad decisions in the dance community. The AngelCare programme has been an outstanding success in Auckland and we are now looking for volunteer ‘Angels’ in the Wellington and Christchurch areas,” he said.

‘Angel’ life guards are clearly identifiable through their AngelCare uniforms and are welcomed into clubs by club owners and management.

“Angels have a lot of fun doing really important work that keeps their friends and their peers safe and encourages people to make sensible and safe decisions,” said Matt.

People interested in becoming an Angel or making a donation should call 0800 ANGELCARE or visit www.angelcare.org.nz

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