Street Pastors get mobile support centre for Christmas

Shrewsbury’s Street Pastors will launch a new triage vehicle this weekend (Saturday 28th November) to provide a warm, safe environment for those who need help after hours.

The white DAF LG van means the 34 volunteers who man the scheme in the town centre can provide a mobile response unit for minor issues and reduce the need for emergency services.

The vehicle has been provided by Shropshire Council and is part funded by the Trustees of Shrewsbury Street Pastors. It will have tables, chairs and a kitchen and will be fully equipped as a triage vehicle, with a defibrillator which has been donated by West Midlands Ambulance Service.  It will be manned by the volunteers and triage trained students.    

Inside the vehicle they can administer first aid and give out water and warm drinks to those who may have become vulnerable through the effect of drugs and alcohol. It will also provide a safe space to listen and help those in need, with blankets to keep people warm, water to re-hydrate and flip flops for those who can no longer walk in high heels. The vehicle has been nicknamed ‘Donkey’ by the Street Pastors, referencing the role of the animal in ‘The Good Samaritan’ parable, which helped to provide safety and sanctuary for the man the Samaritan helped.

Steve Jones, Chairman of the Shrewsbury Street Pastors explained: “We are very excited to get out with the new vehicle this weekend, which we have nicknamed ‘Donkey’ in time for Christmas. More than 28 churches support the Shrewsbury Street Pastor scheme and our volunteers are trained to listen, care and help at a time when people feel very vulnerable. The triage will be focusing on ensuring they get home safely and provide support to deal with any longer term issues. We’re delighted with the backing we have received from blue light services, local authorities and the businesses and venues in the town”

Kirsten Henly, Shrewsbury BID Manager added: “Shrewsbury is a fantastic evening out. Businesses and other agencies all work together to do all they can to make the town a welcoming place and care that their customers are looked after. We fully support the Street Pastors’ important weekly work in town, and this extension to their service will really make a difference to people on their evenings.”

Tim Sneddon, Environmental Maintenance Manager from Shropshire Council, said: “Shropshire Council is delighted to be able to support the Street Pastors in this initiative as part of Team Shrewsbury. The Street Pastors do a valuable job in helping those who might have ‘over indulged’ to get home safely. They patrol the town centre hotspots and along the river in Shrewsbury, looking out for vulnerable people and reuniting them with their family and friends.

“We are sure the ‘Donkey’ will be put to good use and add a new dimension to the excellent work they already do.”

The launch coincides with a visit from assessors from the Association of Town Centre Management’s Purple Flag Scheme, an accreditation process similar to Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches. If successful, Shrewsbury will be the first town in Shropshire to fly a Purple Flag and be given safe and vibrant nightlife status.

The patrols will be on the streets every Saturday and as many Fridays as possible. It will operate from 10pm to 4pm. The Street Pastors in Shrewsbury are part of a nationwide scheme to help vulnerable people stay safe on their nights out.  


Pete White Pete White

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