Monday, 11 February 2013

Streetlife: Saŋk●tuary on the streets of Telford

Saŋk●tuary are a small volunteer group based in the Shropshire town of Telford, who are taking the notion of the Good Samaritan and applying it to everyday life in a surprising way. Every Saturday night, they go out and make sure the clubbing kids of the town have a safe place to go if they get in a bit of trouble, or just need somewhere to catch their breath or get a warm-up before heading home. They run a cafe in the local church hall, where there's free hot drinks, soup, toast, basic first aid and a sympathetic ear. Meanwhile, at the gates of prominent nightclub Pussycats, they dole out free lollipops, flipflops for girls having problems with their six-inch stack heels, and blankets for those unwise enough to venture out without a coat. There's no judgement, no expectations.

Telford girls looking good in their free flipflops!

Like any British club on a Saturday night, there's some drama, usually a fight or two, always some tears but laughter as well. Saŋk●tuary are there to help. On a night before Christmas, first aider Sean (pictured below) was on hand when a girl coming out of the club had an asthma attack and stopped breathing. That was a story with a happy ending, and they have plenty more. The Twitter feed is worth checking out, not just for an overview of a night's events, but for the clubber's reactions to the "street angels" and their free flipflops and soup.

Saŋk●tuary: out on the streets!

Saŋk●tuary have been a fixture of the night-time streets of Telford for over four years now, celebrating their fourth anniversary on the 21st of December. I'm very pleased to say that Pier32 could help with the celebrations, as we've supplied the team with padded body warmers, first aid bags and branded hats. Deborah Reck, a long-time volunteer and blogger for the team, offered up these kind words:

“Our volunteers are incredibly pleased with the new uniforms so thank you very much!! It makes a real difference to all of us to be clearly visible especially as we work outside in the middle of the night and often in dark corners of car parks trying to help vulnerable people. The clothing is all of excellent quality and as a Christian project we really value the ethical nature of Pier32. We are very grateful to Ian and all of the team at Pier32 for all their hard work and their support which has continued long after orders have been delivered. We will be coming back to Pier32 again and again with future orders and highly recommend them to anyone who wants excellent service and ethically sourced goods from truly lovely people!”

Can't say fairer than that, really. Allow me to throw some love back. We think Saŋk●tuary are doing great work in helping out people who some outspoken commentators have chosen to view as wasters or useless. Saŋk●tuary know better. Everyone deserves a little help sometimes, whether that be somewhere warm to wait for a taxi, a cup of tea, a free pair of shoes so you can get home safely, or just a shoulder to cry on.

Team Saŋk●tuary: in from the cold.

They're always looking for volunteers, so if you feel you have something of the Samaritan about you and you're local, why not check them out at their website or Twitter feed?





  1. Thank you so much guys, you really are too kind! We really value all the support and kindness you have offered us and I might have to steal some of your beautifully written phrases for our next press release!

  2. You're more than welcome, Deborah. Steal away!