On Saturday night, 22nd June, I spent an evening with the Street Pastors in Stafford.
Accompanying the impressive team of the Rev Trevor Partington, Mrs Jeanne Morris and Mrs Jenny Dunham, I experienced, until 1.30am, the amazing work performed by the Street Pastors and the support they offer to individuals needing help and assistance in the town centre during night-time hours. During my time with them we helped a couple of elderly ladies (who had clearly had a wonderful evening) down some steps and into a taxi for their own safety.
We also assisted a young lady who had tripped and hurt her ankle, chatted and offered refreshment to a young homeless man, and tried to remove as many potential trip hazards and improvised weapons as possible from the areas we walked within, by picking up and disposing of empty bottles and cans.
We handed out lollipops, mainly to nightclub security staff, and were greeted by people with warmth and genuine appreciation. In addition, a young man approached and thanked the Street Pastors for helping him a few months ago, when he had fallen over and cut his head.
All of this before the “busy period” when the clubs were closing at 4am!
For those who do not know, Stafford Street Pastors is a joint Stafford churches initiative, which was set up in 2009. The group is part of the worldwide Street Pastors organisation, originated in London by Rev Les Isaac, the head of The Ascension Trust.
In Stafford, Street Pastors listen, care for and offer practical help to anyone on our streets between the hours of 10.30pm and 4am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday nights. They are a real asset to the County Town and are well respected by door staff, police, paramedics and the Borough Council for their professionalism and caring attitude to all.
As High Sheriff, may I thank the Street Pastors for all they do. As a father of three, I feel assured that my children will be better supported with their assistance, as they enjoy a night out in Stafford.
If anyone would like to get involved with the Street Pastors excellent work, contact the team by email: email@example.com, Facebook search ‘staffordstreetpastors’ or telephone 07507567072.