Eastbourne street pastors enjoy influx of volunteers

The team of new street pastors
The team of new street pastors

MORE street pastors and prayer pastors have been commissioned to help people in trouble on the town’s streets at night.

The 13 new volunteers were commissioned in an event at Tuxedo Junction Nightclub last weekend after an influx of people volunteering to join the project.

The street pastors, all from local churches, regularly patrol the town centre and streets of Eastbourne between 10pm and 4am on Friday and Saturday nights offering support and advice to people making their way home after a night out as well as the town’s homeless population.

They also provide practical support, such as giving out flipflops so that girls don’t cut their feet when walking bare-foot, handing out bottles of water to those worse for wear, and picking up glass bottles and cans from the ground which could otherwise cause harm.

They offer their time, be it sitting with a young person who is sick, calling an ambulance if necessary and waiting until it arrives, or listening when someone is struggling in life and needs to talk. They will also signpost members of the public to local services if particular help is sought.

On Saturday night the 13 volunteers were commissioned having completed their core training for their new role.

Andrew Malyon, manager at Tuxedo Junction allowed the charity to use the lounge within the nightclub venue and among the guests were partners and supporters of Eastbourne Street Pastors, including mayor Carolyn Heaps, who is also a trained street pastor, Sergeant Stella Wells from Sussex Police, and delegates from the charity’s supporting churches. As part of the service the mayor distributed the Street Pastor caps to the new volunteers.

As a result of the recent training course, the charity now has 48 street pastors working in teams.

Ali Stevens, the street pastors co-ordinator, said, “Eastbourne Street Pastors work to serve not just the public, but the night time economy such as club managers and door staff. As a result we felt it fitting to hold their commissioning service within one of the very clubs they support through their work.

“Eastbourne Street Pastors are excited to have an ever increasing number of volunteers, allowing the charity to continue to grow. Initially they started to work on just Friday nights, but increased to Saturday nights a year ago. It is exciting to wonder how they will expand in the future as more volunteers get involved.”