Doncaster street pastors commended for their volunteer services that help people through the night
Volunteers are gearing up for the busy festive period, during which they hope to help as many people as they can who need assistance on nights out.
The Street Pastors are a group of volunteers from 16 Doncaster churches who patrol the town centre streets on Friday and Saturday nights, helping those in need.
They give out bottles of water, flip flops, help to charge phones and escort individuals to taxi ranks.
The pastor's work closely with the police and the council and on December 10, they held a service of thanksgiving to reflect on the work they have done over the past year.
Chief Inspector Jayne Forrest, said: “The Street Pastors are a charity who give up their evenings every single weekend, voluntarily, to accompany us on night-time patrols.
“They’re a real asset to Doncaster.
“I would like to say thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for giving up every weekend and making Doncaster safer.”
The Street Pastors project started in London in 2003, and was brought to Doncaster eight years ago.
David Major, of Edlington, has been a Street Pastor for two years.
He said: “It’s nice to know that on a Saturday night rather being sat at home watching a movie I can go out and make a difference and help people.”
David recalled an incident which occurred last Halloween when the pastors encountered a young woman being followed by a man dressed as a pirate.
They thought she might have been uncomfortable so stepped in and escorted her safely into a taxi home.
Rodd Morrison is the coordinator of the Doncaster Street Pastors, he said: “It’s our calling to take God’s love out into the town.”
The Street Pastors also work with local bars through a scheme called Pubwatch, as part of which the Pastors will get called to establishments if there are individuals they can help.
Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, said: “The Street Pastors work very anti-social hours when the rest of us are at tucked up at home and watching TV late at night, they’re out on the streets helping the police.
“I support them in every way I can.”