Friday, 19 November 2010

Press Article....

Hello all, 
The evening post ran a feature this week which can be seen on their website link below.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Update - What's been happening!

Its been a very busy time recently - hence the blog not being updated! I'm really sorry!!

We have trained a further 25 volunteers over the past few months and now have a team of 52 representing 22 churches from the around the town.  This awesome as now we can expand our work and go out Saturday nights! We have 8 teams and 10 leaders/ Co-leaders which is fantastic.

Our Commissioning service was great fun, the Bishop was in great form as was Sgt. Wheeler from TVP.  We had over 100 in attendance as we commissioned the new recruits - well done all! 

Last weekend we saw the the pastors going out for the first time on Saturday and by all accounts they had a great time.  The Police and doorstaff have been asking us for the past few months "when are you guys coming out on Saturday, we need you guys!" So at last we were able to help, listen and care for those going out on a Saturday night.  

Other news:
TKAP  (Tackling Knifes Action Program) - is a Home Office multi-agency initiative to combat anit-social behaviour within towns and cities across the UK.  We have been invited to attend these meetings and be part of the strategy to reduce anti-social behaviour within Reading - specifically at night.  We are looking at a multi-agency project to set up a "safe-hut" within the town, talks about how to do this and locations are slowly progressing. 

I've been to a few Rotary clubs around the town over the past few weeks and had a good time with them, visited numerous churches and now have a list of names for the next training batch - probably in the autumn sometime!? Watch this space! 

We started our fund-raising initiative: "be one of the 100" the idea to give £10 a month, so far with have 16 donors raising £220 per month - AMAZING! A BIG Thank you to all! 

A few of the many situations where we were able to help out:
  1. We continue to have good chats with Door staff and flyer-giver guys in towns –  they are really friendly and enjoy our lollipops!
  2. We continue to develop good relationships with the security guys at the Station
  3. We were worried for an older lone drunk lady, who was heading to the car park worried was she was going to drive - we managed to get her to the taxi rank. The taxi driver was a bit nervous about taking a lone single drunk female and wanted one of us to join him - he only took her in the end by giving him a phone number he could  contact us by.  Fortunately no calls were made.
  4. Lone female sitting at the cross roads station road/ friar street about 3am- hadn't realised all her friends had gone home, so she called for a lift and we waited with her.
  5. Walked a lone paralytic lady home whom lived near by. The door staff called us up to  help her out. 
  6. Alerted police to a reveller starting a fight with door staff at a bar.
  7. Reunited a Spanish chap with friends who was being ill outside one of the bars.
  8. One young lad came up to us to repeatedly thank us for the work we are doing – he sees us every Friday and really appreciates the work we are doing – so well done all – people do notice us and see our good work.  
  9. Able to help the Police and Ambulance with a young lady who had had a glass thrown at her and cut her forehead.
  10. Helped out a person who had drunk too much in a short space of time and was sleeping it off in the graveyard of St Mary Butt's, the CCTV Control room asked us to go to him, thankfully his friends found us and managed to get him into a Taxi safely.
Stats so far since Oct 2010:
Calmed 64 aggressing situations

Supported 149 vulnerable people
Handed out 114 pairs of flip flops
Handed out 78 bottles of water
Helped with 12 minor first-aid accidents
Handed out 46 space blankets
Picked up 443 glass bottles
Had contact with over 1700 people
Handed out over 1900 lollipops
Given away 100’s of widgets to prevent bottled drinks being spiked

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

05 Feb - from Richard McKenzie:

End to end Street Pastoring evening last night. Town seemed a bit quite and bit subdued at first and then the first evening of the year where it wasn't a million degrees below freezing went over exciting.

I went out with a different team to the one I usually work with, due to a change in shifts. Out in town for the first hour or so a strange or at least a subdued atmosphere as I got to know my new sp colleagues and we did the rounds talking to the door staff.

First incident, a group of pnuematic young ladies standing around looking in to a drain... The traditional greeting of " you alright?" Illicited the answer that one of them appeared to have dropped their ID down a drain. I don't know why they would do that , but there you are. First Street Pastor stepped in and tried to open the drain. I had a go and neither of us could shift it. Game Over..

We couldn't help anymore so left them to it, we walked over to Mangos and we found a female student and her friends. The woman was having a panic attack and her friends were at a bit of a loss how to deal. Strangely enough we have just had First Aid training, so underpants over trousers we were able to help. She was pretty, how shall we say, collapsed in a state of being tired and emotional. It had turned a tadge cold and so we broke out the survival blankets and helped her to stop hypervenilating. When she had calmed down and sobered up a tadge, her frined popped her in to taxi and off they trotted. Strangely enough we bumped in to them again about 2 mins later with the woman hanging out of the cab honking up. Fortunately we were able to deploy the full cleaning kit and got her and the cab cleaned up.

Ok it wasn't all sick there was the woman who had collapsed by O Neils and whose friends wanted to get her to Harrow. Not an easy job....... We had to persuade her to get up and then we carried her as far as the IBIS, where one of her friends had a room and she bunked up there.

On a sadder note, at the very end of the night we came across a street person, who had collapsed next to a bin. Really tricky as he got colder and colder. We wrapped him in a space blanket and tried to persuade him to go home. Although it seemed as if he didn't have a home to go to.  What to do.... we talked to him but he more or less completely passed out, so we asked the police to help. They called an ambulance and they eventually decided to take him to hospital. I hope.... Really really difficult situation, where should he go, there isn't a night shelter..I am sure we will come across the situation again and will have to find some kind comprimise again.

The night ended on this note and we were all a bit subdued. I had to rush off to bed as I had to up early to work, but that's another story

Thursday, 17 December 2009

A little update...

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 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 or