We patrolled eight times during August and September 2023.
In Grove, Street Pastors cleared up broken glass in an alleyway and picked up lots of litter in Millbrook Square. Another team took a disorientated middle-aged man back to his lodgings, who was visiting Wantage from Derby. We also helped a drunk young man get a taxi, giving him a bottle of water and a lolly. And one of our teams returned glasses to relevant venues that they found in the west end of Wantage.
One of our teams met a group who had been to a wedding celebration in Wantage. One of the ladies, who wasn’t wearing shoes, gasped when we handed her a pair of flip-flops. We also handed out lollies and chatted for a while leaving them very happy at the end of the night.
In the early hours of one Saturday night, an argument broke out among a group of about 15 people, which soon became aggressive. There was much shouting, pushing and a few punches thrown. We called the police and waited at a safe distance until they arrived. Although the incident had mostly subsided, the police apprehended the main perpetrator and spoke to others from the group.
In September one of our teams met a homeless man sitting in a shop doorway with a sleeping bag. It is unusual to find homeless people sitting on the street in Wantage. When we do meet them, they are usually heading elsewhere and are only here for one night. We carry a few basic supplies for homeless people – just enough to make one night a bit more bearable. The man was very grateful for a pot of hot noodles and a pair of clean socks.
We chatted to two young men for a while, one of which said how he had been through some dark times recently but things were brighter now. We also chatted to a couple who said we had helped them home when they were drunk about 10 years ago!