Around 90 people gathered at Stockton Baptist Tabernacle to celebrate the work and success of Stockton Town Pastors.
Launched in December 2009 STP have run every Friday and Saturday since. Working with A Way Out the group offer street patrols and a safe place drop-in and work with massive support from a variety of agencies including Cleveland Police and Stockton Borough Council.
Over the three years STP has:
Invested 8683 volunteer hours on the streets (not including training and non night events)
Directly helped in 2224 incidents including 173 first aid administered and 122 people placed in a taxi.
Picked up 4775 bottles or glasses off the streets
The evening started with welcome and prayer from chair of the trustees Revd. Derek Rosamond and the STP journey to date from Project Manager Steve Brock.
Partners were then invited to talk about the role and impact of STP:
Mayor of Stockton, Councillor Lynne Apedaile, spoke about the way STP had made a difference to the night-time economy of Stockton and how a healthy and vibrant night-time is vital to the success of any town.
MP James Wharton spoke about his experiences of a night on the town with the STP volunteers. This evening had made a massive impact on James and he spoke about the people he had helped and the recognition of the role of the volunteers on improving the community for all.
Police Inspector Brenda Sharpe spoke about several people she had seen the STP volunteers helping and thanked those who volunteered on behalf of Cleveland Police.
Next 6 of the volunteers from Stockton, Hartlepool, Yarm and Middlesbrough were presented with certificates from Chief Inspector Andy Fox in recognition of completing OCN accredited training. Two of the volunteers then shared some of their experiences of working on the streets of Stockton.
The thanksgiving service concluded with the vision for the future of STP including encouraging people to become 'Friends of STP', links with a new initiative 'Love Stockton' aiming to open a Christian presence and base for STP on the high streets, and furthering links with CNI Network including helping launch new projects in other local towns and joining together for training, etc.
A time of networking over a buffet was then enjoyed...