Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 10:09 UK
Street Pastors patrol Worcester
Street Pastor
There are over 150 Street Pastor teams around the United Kingdom

Street Pastors will be patrolling Worcester, helping out with late-night revellers.

Working in pairs, Street Pastors go out during the night to care, listen and help.

The scheme begins on Thursday, 15 April and it trains and deploys volunteers to assist people who may be vulnerable.

The church-run initiative, which has the backing of a large number of city centre churches, is also welcomed by the Police and Worcester City Council.

Initiative

Street Pastors began less than 10 years ago in Brixton, London as an initiative by the Reverend Les Isaac.

He was concerned about the danger that increasing violence presented on the streets of London at that time, and wanted to make a positive Christian response.

Since then, Street Pastor schemes have mushroomed, and there are now over 150 schemes in towns and cities around the country.

The schemes are overseen by an administrative body called The Ascension Trust.

They are perhaps best known for the flip flops they offer women who are no longer able to wear their high heels on the way home, but this is only one example of their work.

Street Pastor
Each city project is set up by Ascension Trust and run by a local coordinator

The volunteer church members aim to help their community in a quiet but effective way, to 'calm' their city streets, including picking up broken glass, or helping to talk people out of attempting suicide.

The Civic launch is taking place at 1930 BST on Thursday, 15 April in the Guildhall Assembly Room, Worcester.

Representatives from Worcester police, the City Council and the Licenced Victuallers Association (LVA) will be there, with the main presentation by a representative from the Ascension Trust.

The meeting is designed to make church members more aware of the work Street Pastors do, and encourage them to volunteer to be part of the first cohort of Worcester Street Pastors.

To be a Street Pastor, you need to be over 18 (no upper age limit), a church member and able to commit to the training programme.

Full support

Chief Inspector Jerry Reakes-Williams, head of local policing for South Worcestershire, said: "This is a very positive development for Worcester.

"The city has a vibrant night time economy, which brings many challenges for the Police.

"We want to support our local economy, whilst ensuring that people are kept as safe as possible, and we see the Street Pastor scheme bringing many benefits, as we know it has done in many other towns and cities in the country.

"The scheme has our full support."

The Venerable Roger Morris, the Archdeacon of Worcester, said: "This is a really good way for Christians to serve their local community and for them to help make the city centre a safer place.

"Worcester is a very gentle place compared to other towns and cities, but there is still a need to get alongside people - especially those who are vulnerable or in need - and to help them."




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