The Street Pastors who help Eastbourne revellers in the town centre late at night are to continue their partnership with Police.
Eastbourne street pastors started working three years ago within the town centre every Friday and Saturday night from 10pm until about 3.30am. They currently have 43 active street pastors and 27 prayer pastors who pray for them and for the community while the street pastors are out ‘on duty’.
Street Pastors is an inter-denominational church initiative which was started in 2003 within the London area. The work of street pastors focuses primarily upon engaging with people in the community through listening to individuals’ concerns, providing practical support, and sign-posting people to local services where appropriate.
Each area project is set up by the street pastors umbrella organisation, Ascension Trust, and is managed by a local co-ordinator with support from local churches, community groups, and through strong partnerships with the police and other statutory agencies. All street pastors are fully-trained volunteers.
Inspector Damen Funnell from the Eastbourne Neighbourhood Policing Team said, “The Eastbourne street pastors do an excellent job here in Eastbourne and we are very pleased to continue our work them. Although they are an independent organisation from the police and other local agencies including Eastbourne Borough Council, we all work closely together to make Eastbourne an even safer place to live.”
Ali Stevens, Eastbourne Street Pastors co-ordinator, said, “We have always received huge support and respect from Sussex Police, right from the start. Part of the agreement between us is that street pastors remain independent and confidential in the service it provides; but saying this, we know we can always count on their full support if and when necessary, and likewise.”
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