A team of volunteers who patrol Haverhill town centre on weekend nights to offer comfort and help to those in need are preparing to hit the streets on two of the busiest nights in the festive calendar.
Haverhill Town Pastors, a Christian organisation who walk the town centre streets between 9pm and 3am on Fridays, will be out on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve this year, which both fall on a Saturday.
They were also out for the late night shopping on Friday - one of the town’s busiest nights of the year.
Town pastor Andy Cuthbert said: “We expect the next few weeks to be really busy.
“As Christians, the Christmas season is particularly important to us, so we want to help make sure the celebrations aren’t ruined for people in Haverhill.”
Since their first patrols in early August, the group of 12 pastors, which includes representatives from churches in Haverhill, Kedington and Steeple Bumpstead have provided support in more than 300 incidents.
Pastor co-ordinator Andrew Payne said: “There’s been no such thing as an average night for the pastors. We’ve been called on to deal with all sorts of situations ranging from supporting vulnerable people to calming potential confrontations.
“By working closely with the police and local authorities, we’ve been able to have a positive impact in the town centre and help people enjoy themselves without getting into trouble.”
The pastors are also supported by a network of local Christians who pray for them while they are out on the streets.