A team of people dedicated to caring for those who find themselves vulnerable in Skegness Town Centre late at night has been launched.
The Skegness Street Pastors are members of the congregation from churches in and around Skegness who have been trained to offer support to those who, through drink, have found themselves vulnerable late at night and into the early hours.
As well as a friendly face and a safe environment, the Street Pastors will hand out practical items such as foil blankets to those suffering the effects of the cold, flip flops to those wearing unsuitable footwear and bottles of water to help combat dehydration.
The project has been funded with the help of a £3,000 grant from Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, Alan Hardwick, as well as a £400 councillor grant from East Lindsey District Councillor Sid Denis – the ward councillor for Skegness St Clements.
The Rev Julie Donn, from St Matthew’s Church, said: “We are not out there to preach to people, just to provide them with a safe environment when they are vulnerable in a non-judgemental way.”
The Street Pastors will be given their badge of office at a ceremony on December 12 and will face their first night on the street the same evening.
They will initially be out on Thursday evenings – a night highlighted by the police as having the most alcohol-related incidents but hope that is more volunteers can be found, they can include other nights, particularly during peak tourist times through the summer months.
The project is a partnership between Skegness Churches, East Lincolnshire Safer Communities and the Ascension Trust, supported by Lincolnshire Police and East Lindsey District Council.
Lincolnshire Police Chief Inspector Daryl Pearce said: “Having been initially involved with the introduction of Street Pastors into Lincolnshire I am delighted with how the project has grown and now about to launch into the seaside town of Skegness.
“Volunteering is going from strength to strength in Lincolnshire and I commend the individuals who are set to work alongside the Police and other partners helping to make Skegness a safer and more enjoyable place to visit in the evenings.”
Anyone who would like to volunteer as a Street Pastor should call 01754 763362 or email Skegness@streetpastors.org.uk. Volunteers should be a regular church-goer, over 18, physically fit and be able to supply a letter of recommendation from their Church leader. All training will be given.