Angels volunteering 2022
Thank you in advance for visiting this post to find out about volunteering opportunities with us throughout 2022. As a community grassroots group we're only as effective and active as our volunteers enable us to be, so we rely on increasing the number of people involved across our range of projects for their continued success.
Volunteering with us can be a fantastic way to increase your social circle in Leeds, making it an ideal opportunity for people new to Leeds, wanting to get to know more people within the local LGBT+ communities or generally just feel more comfortable around the LGBT+ bar scene. You'll also benefit from the knowledge that your time can and does make a difference to others by offering support through engagement & visibility, creating positive social environments and influencing decisions across third sector, statutory and other charity organisations in Leeds and across West Yorkshire.
We have a number of opportunities which include:
Friday evening street engagement - Each Friday from 7pm until 11pm we have a team of volunteers on Lower Briggate & Call Lane areas. The team provide safety reassurance to those enjoying the nightlife, assistance to anyone needing support (sometimes a chat, other times advice & signposting or practical things like phone charging) and promotion of LGBT+ social and support opportunities. On the first Friday of the month we also do a safety contact point in Leeds train station from 6pm til 9pm, alongside the street team. No previous knowledge or experience required, you'll always be with a team of volunteers and learn through time spent in the role.
LGBT+ Coffee & Cake Cafe: Our volunteers run this LGBT+ community social space every month (excluding January), hosted in the Priestley Hall of Mill Hill Chapel, 1st Tuesday of the month from 6.30pm til 8.30pm.
Whether you're coming along to help, or just to enjoy the coffee & cake we always welcome more people along to join the conversations on the evening.
Hate Crime Review group: Our coordinator is the independent chair of this group, working in partnership with West Yorkshire Police to lead a ‘critical friend’ function to review their actions in response to reported cases of LGBT+ Hate Crime in Leeds. Through this partnership we aim to identify positive handling of reports, check & challenge inappropriate or insufficient actions and fully understand the impact of Hate Crime on our communities.
These sessions are held every 8 weeks 6pm until 8pm, currently hosted on MS Teams. Pre-registration is required to attend.
Leeds Freedom Families: Our Leeds Freedom Families group provides a focused group for parents (guardians, close family/friends) with children of any age who identify as LGBT+. Through a monthly social drop in the group aims to bring people together to use their experience to provide peer support, network with others of shared experiences and identify how they can be champions for their LGBT+ family members.
Volunteering for this activity is restricted to those who have this personal experience to enable them to utilise it in supporting others and you can find out more by visiting the Families area of our website.
Other ad-hoc activities happen throughout the year (depending on the situation at the time with Covid), such as our Leeds Pride village Fete, the Queer YuleFest marketplace, pride friendly trains and other engagement events, however we rely on those involved in our other projects to support these to happen.
Daniel, one of our volunteers recently wrote a blog about his involvement with the Angels during 2021 which you can read on the Leeds Inspired website.
If you're interested in getting involved please drop us an email and let us know what which activity you'd like to support, and we can take it from there firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback from recent volunteers:
“I volunteered for the first time with Angels of Freedom last Friday night and I had an incredible time! We roamed around the busy night life areas in Leeds city centre, engaging with lots of people and providing support and guidance to whoever was in need - I found it incredibly rewarding. So many people recognised our high visibility vests and walked up to us to let us know how much they appreciate us being around, providing a safer and more enjoyable night out in Leeds for everyone. I left the volunteering session feeling very happy for the contribution I had made to my community and super excited to volunteer again next week!"
"I had a great time. What was also pleasant surprise was how safe I felt keeping others safe. You and the team created that. Hearing about the impact we know about and don't always know about was inspiring. The evening was full of great conversation and terrible jokes. We were really well received in the Freedom Quarter and giving out free sweets is the best job in the world but above all, I came away with that warm fuzzy feeling of putting back in to your own community with a sense of purpose. Thanks Angels for the opportunity, will definitely be doing it again. 5 stars - would recommend!!"
"I found out about Angels of Freedom through social media, and after reading some information regarding different volunteering opportunities I emailed Rob to talk about where I could offer help. I decided on offering support through their Friday Night Street Engagement Team. It was so lovely being able to get out and about, and learnt very quickly that the team showing a presence was already uplifting to the community. Throughout the evening it was great to learn about the different people the Angels of Freedom work closely with, and how their work impacts the community for the better. Everyone on the team were so welcoming, easy going, but also so passionate about what they do which is so inspiring, and I just look forward to meeting more people who volunteer! Providing safety and comfort to people when they don’t realise they need it is such an important part of the Friday Night Engagement team’s agenda, and their lovely personalities make this look easy! I look forward to joining them again, and a couple of sweets and coffee thrown in never hurts!"
“What an amazing experience! Leeds was relatively quiet, but it gave us opportunity to have some really great conversations about the brilliant work the Angels do and the impact they make. As a woman, I know how unsafe some people feel out on the streets, especially at night. Being able to volunteer in supporting others to enjoy their night safely without compromising my own wellbeing meant the world to me. From the people out enjoying the night life, bar owners, bar staff, security on the doors- everyone recognises the raspberry tabard and approaches you freely as they know you’re someone safe to talk to. I would recommend the street team initiative to anyone wanting a way into the volunteer world, I’ve never done any volunteering before but now I’m hooked! The team even walked me to the train station at the end of the evening to make sure I got home okay which was really appreciated. I can’t wait to volunteer again💜”
"I’d been looking to spend some time out in Leeds with the Angels for a while and so it was wonderful to do this last Friday. I’d only really met Rob before but the others quickly made me very welcome. It was a fairly quiet evening, as the stormy weather was tailing off, but still plenty of people about. I had a great few hours with the fantastic Angels learning more about the great work they do with people around the Freedom Quarter - staff at the venues as much folk out for the night. If you’re keen to a bit of volunteering, especially with a focus on safety and raising awareness for LGBT+ communities, then this is a really valuable way to do that. I love a night out in the area, and for me it’s important to be able to be part of that scene in other ways too. You can still have a fun time amongst the Leeds nightlife as you’re there to look out for others and help create safe & friendly spaces around the streets. I hope to be out again with the Angels in the weeks ahead. ”
“After knowing about them for some time, I decided to volunteer with Angels of Freedom and had a wonderful time! After the past couple of years, it was nice to feel the buzz back in Leeds city centre and see people enjoying what the Freedom Quarter has to offer. The night involved leaving leaflets in various bars, being visible in the area and keeping a look out for any people that needed help. You could tell the Angels are held in high regard by both the public and the bar staff with the welcoming response received during the night, leading you to feel like you’ve made a difference. The Angels are a friendly bunch and as you’re always in a group, there is time to chat to get to know and have a laugh with them. If you’re looking to help the local community, make new friends or get to know more about the services available in Leeds, I’d highly recommend signing up to volunteer and hope to see you in the future!”
“I was approached to volunteer for the Angels of Freedom after attending The Bad Mittens group and decided straight away that I’d like to get involved, having seen the Angels previously around Leeds.
I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity; I met some incredible people. Everyone we met from bar staff to the general public were so friendly and welcoming. It was a great feeling knowing that we were there if someone needed us, if they were in trouble or simply looking for directions.
Not only did I feel like I was giving back to the community, I also met the best bunch of people, it didn’t take long for the laughs to start.
I’ve enjoyed many a night out in Leeds and it was rewarding to see the nightlife from another perspective and to be part of a community that looks after each other. It was great to see life back in the city.
I would highly recommend the Angels of Freedom and I will be volunteering again. It was highly rewarding.”
“It was so much fun to volunteer with the Angels after having heard so much about it! It was great to feel part of something bigger for the LGBT+ community and speaking to police officers around the area on the night, made me realise how important and valuable volunteer groups like this are so that there are friendly faces around the area should people need any support and want to speak to someone. It was a lovely bunch of volunteers and brilliant to meet some new people that I hadn't met before!”