Night time support at weekends has increased in the town centre thanks to the help of Northampton Borough Council’s Partnership Grants.
Northampton Street Pastors is a group of volunteers from local churches who work alongside Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire Police. They provide care and support in the town centre during the Friday and Saturday evenings, and during national celebrations such as Christmas, New Year and Bank Holidays.
Over the past three years, Northampton Street Pastors have successfully applied for the Partnership Grants, securing more than £22,000 to help fund the employment of Street Pastor Coordinators and an administrator for a few hours a month.
These roles include the responsibility for liaising with relevant local agencies, recruiting, training and supporting volunteers, organising rotas and undertaking administrative tasks such as maintaining reports and statistics, and supporting the management committee in profile raising and fundraising.
As a result, the Street Pastors have been able to increase the feeling of safety for those enjoying an evening in the town centre, especially in and around Bridge Street, Abington Street and Wellingborough Road. As well as to reduce the need for involvement from Northamptonshire Police and referrals to emergency services.
In addition, people who are vulnerable as a result of alcohol or drugs, or because they find themselves separated from friends, benefit from the calming and reassuring presence of the Street Pastor teams. As well as the appropriate practical support they offer, such as sign posting to relevant organisations or contacting friends and family.
The Pastors also work to calm volatile situations, address vulnerabilities, avert crime and deter or diffuse anti-social behaviour.
Cllr Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “The Street Pastors provide a really important service to both local people and those visiting the town to enjoy a night out.
“Not only do they support the Council’s Safer Communities priorities, by enhancing the support provided for our night time economy but they also reduce pressures on the local bar staff, Police and emergency services in doing so.
“The positive impact of their service is clear and their contribution has helped us to achieve purple flag status for the town from the Association of Town and City Management. We’re pleased that our Partnership Grants can support them as they help make the town a safer place to live, work and visit.”
Richard Johnson, Chair of Northampton Street Pastors, said: “Northampton Street Pastors welcomes the opportunity to work alongside other partners in making Northampton a safe place. We are very grateful to Northampton Borough Council for their support which contributes to the core funding required to enable us to do this.”
Chief Inspector James Willis, District Commander for Northamptonshire Police, said: “We have a great working relationship with the Street Pastors who play a valuable role in safeguarding vulnerable people in the night time economy and it’s fantastic to see them receive additional funding to support their work.”