New year’s night proved to be eventful in Bude town centre for the team of 4 volunteer Street Pastors who began their patrol ensuring that partygoers enjoyed their evening safely at 10:30pm and ended at 5:15am.
Street Pastors are out every Saturday night looking after people and providing a reassuring presence to those in Bude. The teams of 4 and the prayer team back at base are all volunteers from local churches giving time (and sleep!) for the benefit of others. In the words of Chair, Colin Manning, “We’re coming up to our 10th year in Bude and by comparison with the early years we are now so well appreciated by all those we meet on the streets whether door staff, police or those out to enjoy themselves”.
On this particular night the town was busy with revellers and the team had many requests for lollypops and flip flops were provided for those with sore feet, high heels having been discarded. New year can give rise to mixed feelings and one of the first interactions for the team was to spend some time encouraging someone who needed a listening ear. Next there was a spontaneous disturbance outside one of the clubs which required interaction with the CCTV team operating on the night.
It was when the team were about to end the patrol at 3:30pm they were called to join with others looking for someone who had become separated from friends which was of great concern. The search involved the town and river area and it was an enormous relief when the missing person was safely reunited with friends.
Although the evening was exceptional for the length of time, the scale and range of incidents was not untypical of regular Street Pastor patrols. No wonder all who see them at work on Saturday nights can’t sing their praises highly enough