To be a Street Angel between 2200 and 0400 involves a lot of thought before and after as well. Prior to duty there is urgent consideration of weather / rain /temperature / footwear /clothing and food such that you arrive ready for anything that might be thrown at you. Also to ensure that you arrive at the car park at 2130 to get the all - important pass, then to check the rucksack and a silent word of thanks to the previous angels who left it ready.
On one duty there was nearly violence in the lift when in answer to the question ‘’how is it tonight?’’ the policeman answered with the dreaded [and never used ] Q word. Fortunately he said he was being kept busy in Camberley, so we were restrained.
The excitement begins with the initial exit from the building and the major Team Leader decision “turn left or right”, because part of the adrenaline buster is that you never know where your help will be needed. And by turning in one direction or another it can either be a Q night or 100% full on help needed to any one of the myriad of different scenarios.
On one duty you can also, as we were, thinking [but not saying] it was very very Q night; until 0200 when on turning the corner we came across an intoxicated young lady and it took 30 minutes to sort her out. Then we turned left around a corner and there was another young lady sitting on the ground, sober but distraught. She had been seperated from the people she was with and needed help, but it turned out they were already at home in bed. 30 minutes later she was sorted and we went home after Junction Tap emptied.
The post duty thought revolves around sleep , how long, what is planned for the morning and to cope with minimal sleep after what is always a buzzy, satisfying and stimulating 6 hours on duty.