Cheltenham Guardians is the collective name for a team of specialist welfare officers, all volunteers who have come together to provide dynamic and advanced emergency safeguarding and welfare services in Cheltenham.
We operate every Saturday night between 10pm and 7am and on special occasions such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup (Race Week) and Freshers' Fortnight. We may also respond to missing persons or community hardship incidents.
We work closely with our strategic partners Gloucestershire Constabulary, Cheltenham Borough Council and Cheltenham Safe as part of a wider and structured response to Cheltenham's busy night time economy.
The service we provide is reliant upon a small but effective team of 12 remarkable people who give their time freely in the service of others.
We utilise a rapid response ambulance that is fully kitted out to accommodate the needs and requirements of service users in Cheltenham's night time economy. Exempt from Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO's) in the town centre our vehicle can traverse pedestrianised areas in order to reach incidents quickly and safely.
Founded on the 8th of October 2014 by Terry Howard the organisation has from the outset maintained a phenomenally high success rate despite our few numbers and low budget. The fact that we deliver such a high level of care and competency across a wide remit of incidents with so few resources has generated interest in our organisation from service providers around the world, a number of which we are providing support and advice to. We are widely recognised as a beacon of excellent practice in our field and a sector leader.
Founded by philanthropist Terry Howard in 2014, Cheltenham Guardians has evolved into an essential component in the policing and care response to Cheltenham's night time economy.
Largely funded by Terry the organisation has become a Cheltenham institution, gaining trust and respect from the emergency services, local authority and the community.
Terry said: "Cheltenham Guardians is neither a private police force or ambulance service but occupies a space that supports both statutory equivalents. We have identified areas where care and robust compassion may be more practical and beneficial than police or paramedic intervention. Excelling in this specialised area we have saved the emergency services, the wider criminal justice system and the NHS thousands of man hours and over one million pounds. Couple this with dynamic and proactive safeguarding and welfare capabilities as well as a full spectrum response and we are delivering something very special onto the streets of Cheltenham at zero cost to the taxpayer."
Terry was born in Manchester in 1974 and has lived in Cheltenham for 14 years.
You can follow Terry on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/GuardiansChief
Terry Howard in 2014
"Cheltenham Guardians take supporting the community and the police to another level"
Asst. Chief Constable Julian Moss
"We are very grateful for the actions of your team and are hugely supportive of the work you do week in week out, in the dark hours"
Detective Chief Inspector
"Your efforts to help those in need every weekend are remarkable. The motivation you have to keep doing this is incredible"
"I wanted to say a massive thank you for the amazing support of your team. We were super impressed at their positive support, personal touch, warming spirit and amazing help"
Chief Executive, Severn Trent Plc
"You made a difference tonight, you do every time you are out. Our crews are thankful you are out there knowing that they can count on your support"
South Western Ambulance Service
"Your teams do a fantastic job in looking after people as well as working with the police and providing crucial evidence in a number of cases"
Detective Inspector Stacey
RASSO Team, Crime Command