WHITEHAVEN’S first weekend patrol initiative will be officially launched tomorrow evening.
Members of the public are invited to the launch of Haven Saints – a scheme where volunteers from different churches will help people in the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights.
The launch takes place at Whitehaven Civic Hall, from 7.30pm with guest including mayor of Copeland, Peter Tyson, and representatives from Cumbria Police.
Anita Callow, one of the organisers, said: “This is a civic launch to show what Haven Saints is, why we are doing it and how we are going to be helping the police in the community.”
From the first weekend in October teams of volunteers will work in threes and will patrol the streets between 10pm and 3am the next morning on Friday and Saturday nights.
They will carry rucksacks with essential items including bottled water, flip-flops, first aid supplies and bottle spikeys to prevent drinks being spiked with drugs.
Anita said: “We are going to work with the police as to which nights – either Friday or Saturdays – will be best to go out.”
Initially the volunteers, who will wear red and navy reflective jackets, will go out on one of those nights each week with the hope of covering both nights each weekend once the project is established.
They aim to tackle issues such as dehydration and helping when people become separated from their friends.
Training has already taken place including conflict resolution, safeguarding and drug and alcohol awareness.
Volunteers and committee members are from numerous churches including Elim, the Salvation Army, the United Reformed Church, New Life Church, St Andrew’s at Mirehouse and St John’s at Hensingham.
The scheme is affiliated to the national Christian Night Initiative and is similar to the street pastors scheme running in Carlisle.
Pictures from the launch night...