Street Pastors continue to to pound the streets of Reading with unwavering commitment, dedication and wrapped up and some like the Michelin man (no names) without complaints from the freezing cold weather...continuing to serve the town centre with their friendly smiles, banter and lollipops!!
The past few weeks we have been able to come along side various people who have found that while talking to us they are revealing things about their lives that they wouldn't normally to a complete stranger, being available for people to chat to and listen to is what street pastors are about. It's wonderful that people though knowing who we are still able to trust us to share their lives with us, some broken, some in pain, some unsure of the future, some frustrated with work, some feeling trapped, some struggling from serving in Afghanistan and coping with being home, some just struggling to stay warm with nowhere to go...it has been quite humbling to hear some of these stories and trying to bring hope to people where sometimes hope is a far cry away.
A few stats from the past two months:
Our volunteer Street Pastors have donated over 340hours to listening, caring and helping those in need.
Street pastors have engaged with over 320 people.
Have been involved in 15 cases of calming potential aggressive situations.
We have supported 35 people deemed to be vulnerable (i.e. helping lone females and Reading's street population).
We have brushed and picked up 75 glass bottles around Reading Town Centre (meaning 75 less weapons easily available).
The teams have only dealt with 3 minor first-aid incidences.
We have handed out 4 safety blankets - to help those at risk of hypothermia.
Given away 29 pairs of flip-flops to girls walking home barefooted - saving them from a potential visit to A&E from a lacerated foot.
We've handed out over 500+ lollipops, which has been proven to reduce anti-social behaviour by the sugar in the lollipops stabilising the behaviour of people who have been drinking alcohol.
For more information please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.streetpastors.org.uk