Tab Tries: Club Outreach

We find out if the Christian Union deserve more songs of praise


How often have you accepted water off a blurry smiling stranger after a night at Ocean?

These selfless students are from the university’s Christian Union, who’ll brave freezing temperatures every Friday this winter.

11.45pm

Upon arrival we were introduced to 12 chipper CU volunteers in knitwear.

The CU Dream Team: (From L-R) Heidi, Dan and Sarah

The CU Dream Team:  (L-R) Heidi, Dan and Sarah

First up was a briefing from Outreach leader-come-superwoman Heidi Lawrence where we were instructed to look out for lonesome students who’d had a few too many, stay in pairs, and watch out for girls wondering astray into alleyways.

Emphasis was placed on ensuring club-goers had a safe night rather than “forcing Christianity down people’s throats”. Nevertheless, there was a guide to Luke’s gospel for anyone keen.

12am

We have a nosey at the night’s supplies…

IMG_2632 (478x640)

Holy gallons of water, Batman!

Guardian Angel.

Guardian Angel

Impressed by the CU’s sweet stock, we wondered where it all came from – half expecting a CU Batmobile parked behind the burger van.

The less glamorous (yet admirable) answer was that the CU personally buy and lug several litres of water and ungodly amounts of biscuits to Ocean and are partially funded by Andy Hoe himself.

Hearts warmed by their dedication, we joined the ‘outside team’ hitting the Ocean queue.

We couldn’t help feeling slightly creepy hoisting biscuits on unsuspecting drunks, and soon discovered it isn’t as thankful as it sounds.

 Tough crowd.

A tough crowd

No, really, they're free.

‘No, really, they’re free’

Regardless, the guy who declared the toast ‘bloody excellent’ made it all worthwhile.

A happy customer.

A happy customer

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A handful o’ Hovis

Seasoned do-gooders after our queue experience, we moved on to a (literally) cheeky stint at the Ocean entrance.

A bit more cheek than we'd bargained for...

A bit more cheek than we’d bargained for…

12.45am

Endless enthusiasm.

Endless enthusiasm

1am

A dip on the cards – we joined the ‘inside team’ searching the ‘quiet room’, smoking area and seats for anyone requiring water, comfort or a humble drumstick lolly.

Sarah helped numerous clubbers (who didn’t wish to be photographed), giving us an insight into how important the CU’s role is on student nights out.

Other club-goers were keen to show their support…

Getting into the spirit of things.

Living on a prayer

Outreach’s approachable attitude was even reflected in their threads.

Down with the kids.

Down with the kids

2am

 Fresh Prince blaring in our wake, we were ushered off to the nearby St Nicks to help volunteers there cook up some of Outreach’s signature toast.

Step 1...

Step 1…

Step 2...

Step 2…

Satisfied party animal.

Satisfied party animal

Soon it was time to say CU-later to Club Outreach…

The Outreach team

The Team

Verdict

The CU’s unwavering enthusiasm for dishing out water, serving up toast and consoling emotional club-goers (often in thongs) gets top marks from us.  So if an Outreacher asks if you a fancy some toast, say thanks, they deserve it.