Doncaster Street Pastors is a registered charity which started in December 2011 with 12 commissioned Street Pastors. Since then, more volunteers have joined us in our work on the streets of Doncaster, either as Street Pastors, or as Prayer Pastors or Prayer Partners.
The Street Pastors patrol the streets of Doncaster town centre in teams of three every Saturday night from 10.00 pm until the clubs and pubs close – typically between 3.30 and 4.00 am the following morning – offering practical help to enable people to be safe, and to enjoy their night out
Additionally we deploy patrols on Bank Holiday Sundays, on Ladies Day during Leger week, and on Mad Friday (the Friday before Christmas Day), each time supported by our Prayer Pastors.
Street Pastors work to a rota and patrol on average once a month.
We also have dedicated Prayer Pastors, who work on a rota, generally in pairs at our base, supporting the team of Street Pastors in prayer for the duration of each patrol.
We are supported in prayer by a network of many Prayer Partners, who are committed to praying regularly for our work.
Street Pastors are welcomed by the public, with whom we have an excellent rapport through offering practical help to revellers and others who may otherwise be vulnerable.
We have a high level of credibility and trust, with excellent working relationships with the Police, the Health Care professionals, the teams who staff the NHS First Responder Car, the licensees and managers of the pubs and clubs, and the door security staff. We are an independent group, accountable only to our trustees and our churches, but we do not work in isolation. We work together as a team in partnership with all those who work in the night time economy.
Our coordinator attends the monthly meetings of Doncaster Pubwatch, and the weekly police ‘Street Safe’ debrief on the week-end’s activities, which has helped to develop an integrated partnership of working within the night time economy.
January 2015 we were awarded the “Partnership Working Award 2014” by South Yorkshire Police and in March 2016 we received the High Sherriff’s award for our work in the community. In 2016 we were again awarded the “Partnership Working Award” by South Yorkshire Police
We have a signed Memorandum of Understanding between South Yorkshire Police and the Street Pastor Initiatives in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
Alongside this we have a signed Local Agreement with the Doncaster Division of South Yorkshire Police.
Street pastors are trained in such matters as Street Safety, Listening Skills, Safeguarding and Substance Misuse, training which we undertake together with the Street Pastors Initiatives in Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield. Many of us are qualified First Aiders
In addition, we hold local training sessions for Doncaster Street Pastors and Prayer Pastors, and for our own team leaders.
A typical night
This could include cleaning and dressing the wounds of someone who has fallen over; giving water to someone who needs to sober up a little to enable them to catch a taxi home; escorting isolated females to a taxi rank or other safe place; issuing free flip-flops to enable girls to walk home in comfort without cutting bare feet on broken glass; calming someone having a panic attack; or summoning medical assistance to more serious cases.
We also pick up any bottles or glasses left on the street, to prevent anyone injuring themselves on them should they become broken, or from them being used as weapons against another person.
None of this takes account of the numerous conversations we have supporting people who are bereaved, homeless or lonely, and listening to people who are seeking spiritual or moral guidance, or reassurance and acceptance … or indeed just in need of somebody who is willing to listen.
We are always pleased to take out observers with us who are interested in becoming Street Pastors, or wish to see what we do at first hand.
We have an electronic mailing list of Prayer Partners who have committed to praying for our work, and to whom we e-mail news and prayer concerns on a regular basis.
Many of our volunteers are self-financing, covering the cost of their own uniform and training. We also receive some financial support from a number of churches and Christians from all traditions across Doncaster. Our base at Hall Gate United Reformed Church is provided free of charge.
Grants from the South Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner have enabled us to buy our radios and other equipment including mobiles phones, first aid equipment, lollipops and other disposable items, and to help towards the cost of uniforms, training and travel expenses. For many years now Doncaster Council’s Public Health Team have paid for water and flip-flops. We have also benefited from financial support from other organisations and agencies including Diageo and Doncaster Pubwatch.
Help us with a gift
If you wish to support us with a donation, please click on the ‘Give’ tab, or e-mail our treasurer using the contact form under the ‘Contact Us’ tab and ask for more details of our 120 Club, through which you can arrange regular donations by standing order