On Saturday 12th September 2015, Malcolm was our team leader and here is his edited report (it’s long but worth reading!).

We also made the Herald & Post …. http://www.northampton-news-hp.co.uk/…/story-277…/story.html

From David Mackintosh MP website click here

‘…. The team for Saturday night was Malcolm, Keith, Sue, Trisha and Emma with David Mackintosh, MP for Northampton South, joining us as an observer, which meant that we could operate as two teams of 3, while keeping within eye contact of each other. We were also ably supported by Sharon, who prayed with us (…) throughout our shift, up to 4:30am. Sharon, thank you – you are a star…!

As is often the case, our night had a theme and that was definitely “thank you Street pastors for everything that you do” – which was great for our observer to hear and see at first hand…! We couldn’t have asked for a better night of endorsements ….

The Town Centre was quite busy throughout and over the course of 6 hours, our observer definitely saw at first hand almost everything that we as Street Pastors do and encounter, apart from having a lengthy conversation with an individual and praying with someone. Some of the highlights were:

– friendly chats with the door staff throughout

– a steady stream of flip-flop requests, accompanied by hugs and high fives for all concerned

– a lot of bottle collecting, with Keith once more top of the collector table

– a regular flow of thanks for what we do, usually accompanied by requests for lollies

– chats with several of the street sleepers, including handing out of cereal bars and bottles of water, with many of them confirming that the Hope Centre was full and there was nowhere else for them to go; a useful reminder for David who is also a patron of the Hope Centre; we also met a number of East Europeans on the streets, which gave a fuller view on the homelessness problem we face in Northampton

– meeting in person the mum of the girl that the team helped last Saturday, who had a (…medical emergency…) outside NB’s; she was very grateful for the help given and that we had been there for her daughter in her time of need – a special thanks to Anne and last week’s team for their service last Saturday night.

– showing David the issues in (.. a street…) with a lack of CCTV, which were emphasised by us coming across a young lady (…), who was on her own and clearly not well, outside the (…) entrance (and therefore not visible to CCTV); we started talking to her and she promptly started being sick and feeling very upset and worried; we managed to get her 2 friends out from the (…venue…) to help, and persuaded them to call (…) parents in (….not in Northampton…) which they did, and (…) mother came about 30-40 minutes later to collect her from the bottom of (…) Street, where we had walked to with (…) (well done Emma, Sue and Trisha for getting here there !) ; the whole episode highlighted how important it is that we are checking the places like (…) without CCTV and that we can be there to help young people alone when drunk & in distress; her mother was very grateful

This incident took about 1-1.5 hours in total and also meant that we didn’t get in for a break until after 2am – my latest ever…..!

– earlier in the evening, we were walking near (…) when we noticed a young woman, looking quite drunk, in a sort of embrace with a young man; having just talked about the importance of looking out for vulnerable young adults, and the need to check that a young woman in this sort of situation was happy to be there, the team all felt that this situation didn’t feel right and needed to be checked, and sure enough, it turned out that the woman didn’t really know the man she was with, which along with the fact that she didn’t have a bag with her, made her very vulnerable. When we asked the question if she was OK with the situation, it was immediately clear that she wasn’t and that the young man did probably have other motives, and they went their separate ways. Unfortunately she was quite drunk and disorientated, and was determined to head back into the (…venue…) where she claimed she had left her bag ; we accompanied her there to try to help her find her bag but as soon as she was inside, she headed back to the dance floor and seemed to forget all about her bag, and so we couldn’t do much more. However, it had been a timely reminder of the need to be watchful for young women who may have put themselves in vulnerable situations like this, and not to be afraid just to come up to them and ask a simple question – we were very glad that we had done so on this occasion

– finally, the evening was rounded off by a scuffle and fight outside (…); we heard the sound of a fracas (shouting & raised voices) and headed that way, having alerted CCTV to the need for a police presence, and within about 30 seconds, an un-marked police car screeched to a halt, with 2 plain clothes officers arresting 2 young men who had been at the centre of the violence ; a van of officers turned up about 2-3 minutes later to complete the work, take statements and disperse the crowd

David Mackintosh stayed with us for the whole shift until 4:30am and I think he found the whole experience valuable and interesting, and tweeted his presence with us, (…. see the accompanying copies of tweets ….) positive comments. (…Give thanks for….) what he saw the team doing and saying and praying, by our dependence on God for our protection and by the many positive comments that he heard from a wide range and number of people all evening.

Once again, thanks to a great team for all their work throughout the night, done in a calm and godly way, and to everyone praying for us through the night, and especially Sharon, as we fed her items for prayer as we went along.