In 4th May 2023, coordinator Rod Morrison, on behalf of Doncaster Street Pastors, was presented with an award from the Doncaster District of South Yorkshire Police at an Awards Ceremony at Mount Pleasant Hotel in Doncaster
The citation for the award read as follows:
Pastors – Community Spirit and Volunteer – presented by Chief Inspector Joe Hunt
Doncaster Street pastors are a registered charity, staffed by volunteers who patrol the busy Night Time Economy areas of the city on Saturday nights and other busy times. The Street pastors work from 10 pm until the early hours of the morning offering practical and spiritual support to enable people to be safe and enjoy their night out.
Street pastors have been working in Doncaster for over 10 years and in that time have developed an excellent rapport with members of the public, licensed premises, security staff, Doncaster Council and the Police. Street pastors are trained in skills such as Street safety, Listening Skills, Safeguarding. First Aid and Substance Misuse. Street pastors offer help and assistance to anyone who need sit, whether that be directions to a taxi rank, a sip of water and some flip flops, or simply being that person who is ‘willing to stop and listen’.
Rod and his team are play a core role in the multi-agency night time economy plans. Their pastoral role frees up police officers to focus on threat and risk issues. The Street pastors can often be relied upon to de-escalate potentially violent situations and are a key ally identifying vulnerability and signposting them to assistance. This is particularly valuable in preventing violence against women and girls.
I don’t think it would be rude to mention that most of the Street Pastors are not in the same age demographic as the people they encounter around the pubs and clubs of Doncaster. Despite their ‘seniority’ they work all year round, in all weathers, in what can be a very challenging environment. They freely give up their time, when most of us from a younger generation are tucked up in bed, to help keep the revellers of Doncaster safe. This is the very essence of community spirit and I for one am very proud to have worked with them during my time in Doncaster.
On the back of this award, Doncaster Street Pastors were proud to be shortlisted alongside a second voluntary group for a Force-wide award – which was recognition in itself. Representatives from Doncaster Street Pastors attended the Awards Ceremony at the OEC in Sheffield on 4th July 2023, but were unsuccessful in their nomination