Street pastor ranks receive welcome boost

Hastings Achiever Awards, Sussex Coast College, Hastings.'17.10.13.'Pictures by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY'Service With a Smile'Sponsor: Priory Meadow'Highly Commended: Hastings Street Pastors
Hastings Achiever Awards, Sussex Coast College, Hastings.'17.10.13.'Pictures by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY'Service With a Smile'Sponsor: Priory Meadow'Highly Commended: Hastings Street Pastors

A CHARITY that sends street pastors to patrol the town centre at night helping those in need is set to welcome 16 new volunteers.

Hastings Street Pastors will conduct the swearing in ceremony at St Leonards Parish Church tomorrow at 7.30pm (SAT).

The volunteers represent 14 churches in the Hastings and St Leonards area and are aged between 25 and 70.

It is a third boost for the charity this month after Sussex Police handed out £6,795 as part of cash seized from the ill-gotten gains of criminals in the county. Since the service began in Hastings in February 2010, the charity claims it has saved the lives of six people. One of them was a distressed young woman who tried to drown herself in the sea.

The pastors use Wellington Square Baptist Church as their base. They go onto the streets in teams of four at the weekend and help people who are suffering from the effects of too much alcohol or anyone in alarm or distress.

They are starting Thursday night patrols from Halloween at the request of Hastings Police. It follows the rising number of students who go out in the town centre on Thursday nights.

The new recruits raised their number to 72 but more are neede. Street Pastors co-ordinator Martin West said: “We are very pleased to welcome the new volunteers on board. They represent a large cross section of the community and religious denomination. Our youngest street pastor is 21 and the oldest is 72. “We are taking the church out onto the streets and always go the extra mile to help people.”

To volunteer call Martin on 07964 167870. See our Hastings Achievers on page.........