Do you have a local team of Street Pastors in your town? If you do then you are probably aware of the invaluable service that they provide to vulnerable people who are out and about in the late night economy. Their work can have huge benefits to the pub and hospitality trade as they provide an important layer of support to people as they move about the town centre or travel home.
Street Pastors are trained volunteers from local churches who care about their community. But providing this type of support costs money; for example volunteers have to pay for their own specialised training and uniforms. Licensees are well known for their generous and enthusiastic charitable fund raising activities and we know that some Pubwatch schemes already provide support to local Street Pastors by supplying such things as bottled water and flip-flops. However have you ever considered helping Street Pastors with financial support to help them to train or equip volunteers? After all there are few local charities that can provide such a direct benefit to the pub trade.
NPW has decided to take the lead in highlighting this approach by sponsoring the training of a new cohort of volunteers with the Westminster Street pastors. The Westminster team has been in existence for almost 5 years. Their volunteers patrol on a Friday night – Saturday morning, twice a month, helping and caring for people on the streets irrespective of who they may be. Homeless people, late night revellers, confused tourists all are given the assistance they require.
Case Study: On their last patrol, Westminster Street pastors came across three young ladies who had planned to go clubbing in London. Unfortunately two of them had had been drinking heavily. One ended up being taken to hospital in an ambulance and the second was laying drunk on the forecourt of Victoria station. The third lady was sober and trying desperately to assist her friend back home to Luton. Westminster Street pastors were able to help the ladies onto a bus going to Kings Cross station in order that they could catch the Luton train and also provided them with tissues, water and carrier bags (in case of sickness) for their onward journey!
We hope to provide regular updates on how the new trainees get on and what happens when they eventually hit the streets!