Trans-Iberian

Trans-Iberian

Covering everything from the major news of the week and burning social issues, to expat living and la vida local, EL PAÍS’ team of English-language bloggers offers its opinions, observations and analysis on Spain and beyond.

The Street Angels back on the beat

Por: | 06 de julio de 2015

It's more or less a year since I went out on patrol with the Mallorca Street Angels overnight in Magaluf so this week I caught up with the group's leader Cameron Springthorpe and a new girl on the block, Jud Sweeney.

Punta Ballena (Photo Credit Vicki McLeod)

Vicki McLeod: So, your season has started now for 2015. How are you getting on so far?


Cameron Springthorpe: It's very interesting and heartening to see so many different groups getting involved and helping. This year we know about a group from the Norwegian Church who are helping visitors from Scandinavia; we know that the Vinyard Church, an Evangelical group based in Palma, came out to see what it was like, I believe with the intention to see if they could run a similar group in Palma, and we know about the Gospel Tribe who are a German Bible School who are patrolling in s'Arenal and have also been over to Magaluf as well.

VM: Wow! So you've got company!

SC: Yes, it's good news.

VM: How have you found Magaluf this year so far ?

SC: We haven't seen people in such a bad state as we did last year. I would say of last year's experiences we were finding about 50% or 60% of the people unconscious or semiconscious at the outset. It has not been as bad this year. The people are more responsive and they are waking up easier than previously. We are seeing less drinking on the streets, and less broken bottles as a result.

VM: Is it still the case that the majority of the people you are finding are either too inebriated to find their way home, or are simply lost and disorientated and don't know where they are staying?

SC: Yes, that is the case.

Jud Sweeney: We helped a guy recently who couldn't remember where he was staying so we were looking on his Facebook to try to find his friends who may be on holiday with him. In the end we rang up his mum in the UK to ask her if she knew the name of his hotel. But she didn't so she had to go down the road and ask one of his friends if they knew! Eventually we got him home.

VM: This is your first year in Mallorca Jud, how are you finding it?

JS: I really like it. I'm part of a group called 247 Ibiza  which has been operating in Ibiza for the past twelve years and I wanted to come over to Mallorca to see how it worked here. We would have tended to go out earlier in the evening in Ibiza than the Street Angels do here because we want to try to have conversations with people before they get so drunk that they can't have a chat anymore. We look for people who may want to talk. We want to share some kindness and love with them. There are always people who are not having the best time, and they might want to have a chat and we offer them the opportunity to pray with us as well. We would get asked "Why do you want to be here? It's awful!" so we know that some holiday makers don't really like where they are either. We also would talk to the workers and the PRs as they have a tough time in Ibiza or here. We try to help: cleaning up someone who’s vomiting, helping vulnerable people – drunk, drugged, injured or alone - to a safe place, listening to someone’s story or frustrations of the day, celebrating good news and happy times with people. taking someone who’s been injured to a medical centre, sharing our faith and stories of God with those who are keen to hear, seeking to bring calm to agitated people and stressful situations and asking God to lead us to specific people he wants us to talk to and to give us the words he wants them to hear.

IMG_4043-2
VM:
What makes you want to come out here and spend your summers doing this? 

JS: I'm a teacher back home, and I am active in my local church group.  I get a lot of support both from the parents and my church. Members of churches come out to help for a week or so at a time and join the team which gives us an energy boost as well. Parents  that I know have said that they would want their children to have someone to look after them if they were in trouble away from home. When I was younger I had a wild spell and I could have easily ended up in a lot of trouble, luckily I was able to change my path so I know that some people just want to party for the sake of having a party, and for other people it is hiding more fundamental issues. Now I want to give back and help other people who might need me.

A team walking down punta ballena - the strip re
VM:
I know when I went out with the Street Angels I really enjoyed it, I know that sounds a bit perverse, but I truly did! I liked the feeling of being able to do something practical and helping people. It's important to not be judgmental isn't it, because that's not helping at all.

JS: Yes, absolutely, you cannot judge someone or tell them they've done something wrong. When you are helping them get home or whatever it is they need from you you've got to focus entirely on that.

VM: How many people might you help on average night?

SC: Between 10 and 15 people normally.

VM: Last year when we met you told me that you were looking for a golf buggy or something you could use for transportation. Did you manage to get your wish?

Some of the team, Jud and Cameron on the left re
SC:
Not exactly, but we have got a car that we are able to use. Ideally though what we would like is a Kangoo type of van where the doors slide back, it would make it much easier to help people in and out of the vehicle. We've taken people home, and even taken them to Son Espases for treatment. 

VM: So if any of the readers wanted to donate a Kangoo then they should get in touch! Is it still the case that the Street Angels are looking for volunteers?

SC: Yes we are, we are always open to more people joining us and being on patrol. You don't have to be a Christian, but you do have to be in agreement with our principals or it won't work. We've currently got a team of nineteen people working this year. Between Street Angels and the other Christian based groups working Magaluf there is some sort of presence there every night which is great progress and we know we are helping to make a difference to these young people on holiday.

You can contact Cameron on 629056193. You can see more on www.streetangels.es and www.24-7ibiza.com

 

Hay 0 Comentarios

Los comentarios de esta entrada están cerrados.

Authors (Bloggers)

Chris Finnigan is a freelance journalist based in Barcelona. He writes for Barcelona Metropolitan and is a book reviewer and reader for The Barcelona Review. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics. You can find him on twitter @chrisjfinnigan

Ben Cardew is a freelance journalist, translator and teacher, now resident in Barcelona after growing up gracefully in Scotland via Norwich. He writes for The Guardian, the NME and The Quietus, among others, on everything from music to digital media. You can find him on Twitter @bencardew

Fiona Flores Watson is a freelance journalist, guide and translator who has lived in Seville since 2003, and has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years. She writes for the Guardian, Telegraph and Sunday Times Travel Magazine. Originally from Essex, Fiona is also Consulting Editor of Andalucia.com and has her own blog, Scribbler in Seville. She has been contributing to Trans-Iberian since 2014 and tweets at @Seville_Writer

Jeff Brodsky is a freelance writer. He arrived in Barcelona in 2013 via an admittedly indirect route, living in Chicago, Arizona, Seville, Amsterdam, North Carolina and Madrid. Despite not having stepped foot in Seville for over five years, he still speaks Spanish with an Andalusian accent. Jeff’s writing has been published in newspapers and magazines in America and Europe.

Koren Helbig is an Australian freelance journalist and blogger enjoying a life of near-eternal sunshine in Alicante. She writes for publications in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, focusing on stories exploring smart and positive approaches to social issues. She hangs out on Twitter at @KorenHelbig and keeps a selection of her favourite stories at korenhelbig.com.

Julie Pybus lives in a small off-grid house on a hillside in Catalunya. She usually focuses on helping charities and social enterprises with their publications and websites, but has also written for The Guardian, Country Living and The Observer. Julie launched and runs a hyperlocal website which endeavors to increase understanding between the different nationalities in her area perelloplus.com. @JuliePybus

Paul Louis Archer is a freelance photographer, multimedia storyteller and artist educator. A cross-disciplinary worker, who endeavors to encompass the mediums of photography, audio design and writing. Born in Hertfordshire of an English father and Spanish mother. Based in the United Kingdom. @PaulLouisArcher

Vicki McLeod is a freelance writer and photographer. She has lived in Mallorca since 2004. Vicki writes about her beloved island for The Majorca Daily Bulletin, the only daily English language paper in Spain; produces regular columns for the Euro Weekly News, and articles for Spain-Holiday.com. Vicki runs PR strategies for several businesses in Mallorca and London as well as working on her own blogs and projects. She and her husband, Oliver Neilson, supply photo and text content for private clients via @phoenixmediamlr. She tweets at @mcleod_vicki.

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne and based in Barcelona, Alx Phillips writes about contemporary art, dance and theatre in a way that human beings can understand. For more previews, reviews, interviews and extras, check: www.lookingfordrama.com.

El País

EDICIONES EL PAIS, S.L. - Miguel Yuste 40 – 28037 – Madrid [España] | Aviso Legal