Derby City Mission’s Street Pastor project is set to be awarded funding from the Council so street pastors can continue help to people in need of assistance.

The Street Pastors are a regular feature at weekends in the evenings, listening, caring and helping, in an unconditional way. The Council has identified £23,000 funding, ring fenced from the Police and Crime Commissioner Grant, to help the street pastor response service. This is subject to approval at the Council’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 7 December.

Derby Street Pastors started in 2009 and is a partnership of local churches, Derbyshire Police, Derby City Council, Derby City Centre Management, Derby Pub-watch and The Ascension Trust.

Street Pastors work in partnership with a range of partners supporting about 6000 people a year in a variety of ways. Street Pastors undergo training in first aid, youth culture, communication skills, drugs & alcohol and mental health. They provide first aid to people who are distressed or drunk and calm down people in conflict situations to avoid them being arrested. The Street Pastors help to reduce A&E admissions and ambulance calls for service, which are already very busy at weekends.

Councillor Asaf Afzal, Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion and Integration said,

I have seen, first hand, how the Street Pastors support people and help them in their mobile sanctuary unit. The pastors work closely with taxi marshalls, door-people and the Police – they complete the jigsaw of support for people out at night in the city. It’s reassuring for parents that someone is looking out for their sons and daughters and I know the Street Pastors have a major positive impact on public safety. We are so pleased to be able to support this vital city project.

Richard Wormsley, from Derby City Mission said,

We are delighted to receive this grant for the continuing work of the Street Pastors. This is an overwhelming endorsement of the partnership that has grown over the last seven years between the Street Pastors, the City Council and the Police. In addition we are constantly encouraged by the people we meet on a Friday and Saturday night who we have previously helped when they have found themselves in a position of extreme vulnerability. The provision of this grant will not only help us to maintain our current service, but provide us with an opportunity for further development.

Street Pastors is an inter-denominational church response to urban problems, engaging with people on Friday and Saturday nights to care, listen and dialogue. It was pioneered in London in January 2003 by Rev Les Isaac, Director of Ascension Trust, and has seen reductions in crime and drunkenness.