AWARD winning street angels funded through Housing Hartlepool are protecting festive party-goers and revellers in Hartlepool by giving up their nights out to help others.
The Hartlepool Town Pastors, have been assisting weekend drinkers by patrolling the Victoria Road and Church Street areas of the town each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, offering help and support to those who are in need.
The 18 strong-team of volunteers, mainly from local churches, are kitted with backpacks including flip flops to give to the foot-sore whose heels have got the better of them, water and lollipops for the dehydrated and equipment to help clear up discarded drinks bottles to prevent them from being used as weapons.
Under the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, the project involves support from Elim Living Waters Christian Fellowship, Housing Hartlepool, which is a part of the Vela Group, and various other agencies and churches across Hartlepool.
The initiative is one of many ‘Street Angels’ projects throughout the UK which aims to make a contribution to the safety and wellbeing of the public, offering first aid, care, guidance and friendship to the community and helping the vulnerable between 10.00pm to 3.00am.
So far the team have been awarded two community awards from the Police Commissioner and Police Constable for their contribution and achievement in the area.
Andy Powell, Head of Housing Services at Housing Hartlepool, said: “One of our primary objectives is to strengthen our communities making them safer and more enjoyable places to live. By working with and funding the Town Pastor project, we are helping to provide much needed assistance to vulnerable people late at night and in the early hours.”
Karen Milner of Hope Church Hartlepool, and one of the first Town Pastors said: “As a Town Pastor I work most Saturday nights ensuring that everyone is safe and gets home safely. I've been part of the team since day one and still enjoy it - we have a great rapport with revellers, door staff, police and everybody out there.”
Drew Mills, Project Coordinator said: “Our role as Town Pastors isn’t just to support those that have had too much to drink, we also help victims of crime and those who have been separated from friends and are feeling vulnerable. “We have managed to prevent drinkers from getting into strange vehicles, arranged for parents to collect their drunken children or guided revellers to taxis. We’ve helped people who have been unable to help themselves.”
Anyone over the age of 18, who is interested in becoming a Town Pastor can contact Drew Mills by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 01429 296819 or 07776 378934.