Street pastors project for Felixstowe

CHRISTIANS in Felixstowe are setting up a street project to work alongside police controlling the town's nightlife and to help vulnerable people.

FELIXSTOWE: Christians in Felixstowe are setting up a street project to work alongside police controlling the town's nightlife and to help vulnerable people.

Organisers of the Town Pastors scheme say their aims are to “care, listen and chat” and be a positive influence in an area where violence and vandalism regularly take place.

Volunteers' work will include giving dehydrated people water to drink, assisting others to get taxis or lifts home, waiting with vulnerable people, helping to defuse potentially difficult situations, and working with other agencies to promote safety.

The scheme, which will cost in excess of �13,000 in its first year, is being put together by representatives of various churches at the resort and training of volunteers - including self defence, first aid, dealing with conflict, drugs and alcohol misuse - starts next month.

Peter Livey, from the Felixstowe Town Pastors, said: “The main aim will be to serve people, regardless of their faith or background, showing concern and offering practical help in a non-judgemental and unconditional way.”

The main area the pastors will target is between Undercliff Road West and Cobbold Road, which has a number of licensed premises.

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Over the past year, the area has seen 61 violent offences and 14 acts of criminal damage between midnight and 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.

The pastors will go out in pairs on the streets and in the pubs and clubs between 10pm and 4am, being a visible presence, working with police and other agencies, building relationships with people and encouraging good behaviour.

Do you think the Town Pastors scheme is a good idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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