The Balham team met for a slightly different but very eventful night.
It was hoped that we would be able to do our normal patrol and also have two Street Pastors stationed at the newly initiated Clapham Hub at Clapham Methodist church but this was not possible. Instead all of our energies were concentrated at the hub and we conducted our patrol as an extension to that initiative.
Four team members David Wilson, Fosuah Poku, Wayne McIntosh and Janice Lynas, our newest team member still in training, went out on Patrol in between the busy area of Clapham. Between Clapham Common Station and Clapham North. Our aim was to patrol as usual and to tell people about the Hub as a refuge point if anyone needed help in the way of counselling and medical attention.
We had a number of encounters of people curious about our work including a young man, a member of Holy Trinity Brompton Church who was out on a night with three friends. We met a homeless middle aged lady who told us of her plight, she had apparently been put out of a shelter because it was deemed not too cold to sleep out on the streets (it was 1 Degree Celsius).
There was another young lady who seemed to be oblivious of the fact that she was almost run over as she crossed the road as she was in conversation on her phone. We tried to lend assistance but she refused at first because she was weary we wanted to preach to her. Once her fears were put to side she opened up to us about her plight of suffering discrimination in her home country of Australia due to the fact she was half Aborigine.
The main incident of the night was when we witnessed a violent fight between two men outside a pub near Clapham North station. The fight had started when one man had jumped out of the minicab he was travelling in and struck another man standing outside the pub above his eye with a glass or bottle, apparently without provokation. One of the men ended up on the ground in the road while the other kicked and punched his face repeatedly. Despite many people being around it wasn’t until David and Fosuah arrived on the scene that the fight was broken up as they persuaded one of the men to get back in the minicab with his friends and leave the scene. David and Fosuah encouraged the other man who had been struck by the glass object to go to the Hub for some medical attention which he refused. Despite the fact that there were a number of people around it seemed that the fight would not have been stopped in a hurry if it was not for the Street Pastors intervention.
By the end of the evening we collected 12 bottles and swept up 4 more.
Some photos of the Clapham Hub preparing for action will follow in our gallery.