Street Pastors are looking for more recruits
BODMIN'S Street Pastors are looking to recruit more people to join the teams who go out onto the town's streets on Saturday nights to help those who may find themselves vulnerable or in need of assistance.
The volunteers, who need to be church members, will be fully trained by different agencies to cover first aid, drug and alcohol abuse, social service provisions and even how to respond if they find dangerous weapons.
A team consists of four people, but because of illness and one trained pastor leaving the area, there are now only five trained people to cover patrols and so the rota has had to be amended from fortnightly to monthly, making it more difficult to form relationships with those on the streets late on Saturday evenings.
Committee member Alan Priestley said the pastors had carried out some important work over the past 12 months.
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"In the past year, seven people have been escorted to safety with more than 500 people engaged in conversation,'' he said.
"A small number of antisocial incidents have also been attended where the Street Pastors have been able to intervene and calm the situation. In addition, they have been able to give practical help, either by guiding people to which services might be able to assist them, or by being able to provide the help directly.
"During their patrols, a large number of bottles and cans have been collected."
The church-led local initiative began in Bodmin in 2011 after ten volunteers received training.
Street Pastors now work in towns and cities across the UK and they are the church's response to problems that can occur on the streets at night.
Police in Bodmin support the initiative, and say that statistics show such schemes have been successful in reducing crime rates in areas where they have operated.
To continue the service in Bodmin, more Street Pastors are now urgently required for training. Volunteers should contact the local co-ordinator on 07914 668812.