We are trained volunteers from a mixture of Christian Churches in Leamington, seeking to create a more harmonious and safer environment for those out and about on the town’s streets at night.
Following the ethos of the other 250 Street Pastor initiatives nationally, we will talk about our faith if questioned but we are not about preaching.
Our prime purpose is to offer non-judgemental caring and support through listening and helping, meeting the needs of all, regardless of background. In delivering this we very much work in partnership with Warwick District Council who have been very supportive.
In practical terms what we do is to patrol in a team of 3 or 4 on Saturday nights (plus Friday nights when our numbers grow) from 10.00pm to 2.00am (we do have a coffee break!). Most time is spent in the Bedford Street/Warwick Street club/pub area. We have a 2-way Radio that links us to the CCTV control centre and all door staff at every open establishment. We can summon assistance as well as being called ourselves to people needing support. If there is a need and the team are OK then we will go on after 2.00am.
Typically a night might include:
- Giving out bottles of water, foil blankets and flipflops (if walking in high-heels is proving more hazardous than when the night began!).
- Picking up and disposing of discarded bottles and sweeping up glass (to reduce injury risks).
- Seeing people safely into taxis home and arranging this if necessary.
- Helping with phone calls to re-join their group if someone’s mobile has failed them.
- Watching out for the vulnerable and perhaps waiting with them or getting assistance.
- Perhaps, by our presence, reducing tensions that, if unobserved, might develop into aggression.. . . and generally greeting people and fostering a happier and calmer atmosphere.
Some of our team have had additional training to act as Response Pastors. They stand ready in case the emergency services or council declare a major incident for which they need Response Pastors to bring emotional support to any who have had a traumatic experience.
Strong financial and practical support has come from The Health & Well Being Group and South Warwickshire Community Safety Partnership, The Police, The Police & Crime Commissioner, Leamington Town Centre Forum and from Warwick District Council.
Our MP and several clergy played key parts in shaping our initiative and great thanks should go to Paul Warren and Pete Cutts who worked for months to turn an aspiration into the reality launched here on 18th May 2013.
Please read the A Typical Patrol Night page.
“Hey, you saved my ass when I was walking on glass”