Doncaster Street Pastors
report to AGM on
10th December 2019
As in previous years, throughout 2019 Doncaster Street Pastors patrolled the town centre every Saturday night from 10.00 pm until the early hours of Sunday morning. Additional teams worked on Easter Sunday and three other bank holiday Sundays, and during Leger Week on Ladies Day, with an extra team going out early on Leger Day, as well as the normal 10.00pm patrol. Once again, a team will be out on Mad Friday next week, 20th December, and on New Year’s Eve.
Numbers are keeping up. Sadly, two of our volunteers have stepped back from active duty for health reasons, but we have welcomed a ‘new’ Street Pastor who moved to Doncaster having been a Street Pastor in Plymouth for three years.
We have had a few enquiries from people who want to find out more about becoming a Street Pastor, but as yet no firm commitment to observing or training. We continue to have a shortage of female Street Pastors, which occasionally makes it a challenge to deploy a mixed-sex team every patrol, but so far, we have managed to do so.
Interestingly, the streets are not as busy as when we first started patrolling eight years ago. Silver Street remains quite busy, but the busiest part of town now is Lazarus Court.
Initially, the road works in Hall Gate and Silver Street presented our teams with some problems, but these were soon resolved. Now that the work is nearing completion, there is definitely a different feel to the evening in those areas.
Prayer Pastors and Prayer Partners
Our Prayer Pastors faithfully support the team of Street Pastors in prayer for the duration of each patrol.
Being fewer in number than in recent years, there are occasions when the base is not staffed, and a lone Prayer Pastor operates from home. Thankfully, the Prayer Pastor team is augmented by a number of Street Pastors who ‘double up’ when not needed to patrol, and for this we are very grateful.
We continue to give thanks for the large number of Prayer Partners who have committed to regularly praying for or ministry. Thank you all ever so much.
Street Pastors continue to train whilst ever they are active. Our ‘Know Your Community’ training day took place in February, with input on Homelessness and the DMBC Complex Lives Team from Pat Hagan, Head of Localities for DMBC, and on licensing and enforcement from Paul Williams, Housing Enforcement Manager for DMBC. We also had a presentation from Sally Hickson-Clark (Operations Manager for Doncaster Alcohol Services), and feed-back from National Coordinators’ and Management Conference. Several ideas were put forward for discussion and action at a future date to meet the needs of changes taking place in the night time economy.
Following this, a team of Street Pastors went out at 03.00 on two Sundays, in May and in June, and patrolled until almost 06.00, to explore whether there was a need for a later finish to our patrols. Though an argument could be made for patrols at such times, it was agreed that the main need was earlier than 03.00, and so we decided to continue to patrol at our usual times.
We were very fortunate that most of our team leaders, and some Prayer Pastors were given some valuable training in ‘radio discipline’ by Steve Butler, who runs the CASED radio system that we and door staff all use.
The radios are an essential part of our equipment and we could not operate without them. We are grateful to the PCC and South Yorkshire Police for the funding and provision of our two radios.
We are really grateful for the excellent working relationships we have with the Police, Doncaster Council, especially its Public Health team, the teams who staff the NHS First Responder Car, the licensees and managers of the pubs and clubs, and the door security staff.
We generally receive a good briefing from the police at base before the team goes out, when we receive information about any missing persons, and of any situations that might cause concern. We thank them for this, and for their active support when the teams are dealing with difficult incidents. Likewise, we thank the police CCTV operators for their constant monitoring of us whenever we are on patrol in the town centre.
Equally, we thank the Local Authority for continuing to supply us with water through their Public Health Department.
As coordinator, Rod Morrison meets with Doncaster Police Street Safe Team every week to review the previous week-end and set priorities for policing the night time economy for the coming week-end. He also attends the bi-monthly meetings of the Human Assist Group of the Local Response Forum in his role as Deputy Coordinator for South Yorkshire Response Pastors,
In many ways, this last year has been much like any other, as we continue to have such a good rapport with the revellers with whom we inter-act through offering practical help to those who may otherwise be vulnerable.
We will continue walking the streets – caring, listening, and helping – through flip-flops, water, first aid, and accompanying vulnerable people to safety – but not forgetting that our core reason for our ministry is to take the Gospel out on to the streets.
We were very pleased to welcome Damian Allen, the CEO of Doncaster Council, as an observer with our team last Saturday. We are sorry that it rained. We have no control over the weather, but if you would like to experience more of what we do, you too would be very welcome to come out with a team on any Saturday night. Just drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make the necessary arrangements
And finally …
Yes, we are singing carols again this Christmas, as we have done now for a good number of years. Accompanied by members of the Salvation Army Band, we will be at Danum Corner on Saturday 14th December from 11.30pm until midnight, when with music and song we will be reminding those out in the centre of town on that Saturday night just what Christmas is all about.
We will gather at Hall Gate United Reformed Church on Hall Gate at 11.15pm (or just turn up at Danum Corner, where Silver Street meets Hall Gate). After we have sung, everyone is invited back to our base at Hall Gate United Reformed Church for mince pies and hot drinks.
Why not come and join us?
Coordinator, Doncaster Street Pastors