Number of nighttime helpers has trebled

Amber Rudd MP joined the street pastors for an evening
Amber Rudd MP joined the street pastors for an evening

A TEAM of volunteers who patrol the town at night and offer help to drunken revellers has tripled in size since launching last year.

The Street Pastors roam among Hastings’s nightlife, handing out hot drinks, blankets and tins of soup to the vulnerable.

The organisation launched in February last year with 28 members, but thanks to growing interest in their work, 78 helpers are now signed up. A second branch is planned to launch in Bexhill early next year.

Martin West, 54, co-ordinator of the Hastings Street Pastors, said the pastors’ work was more important than ever.

“People have got to know us now, and we generally get a hugely positive reception.”

The Christian organisation combines members from 26 churches across Hastings.

And recent recruits include the local MP Amber Rudd, and borough councillor Matthew Lock, who joined a team from 10pm to 1am on the night of the Old Town Carnival Week pram race, a busy date for Old Town drinkers. Tomorrow (Saturday) town mayor Kim Forward is scheduled for a patrol.

Ms Rudd, said she had been impressed by the experience, adding: “It was an honour to accompany them for a patrol and lend support as a volunteer when possible. The attitude was supportive, not judgmental.”

Anyone interested in the Street Pastors can contact hastings@streetpastors.org.uk or call 07964 167870.