The Street Pastors have been named charity of the year for 2018 by Stirling Councils provost, Christine Simpson, after an illuminating evening spent shadowing the charity on Saturday night. The Street Pastors are a volunteer-run charity organisation that patrol the streets of over 300 British towns and cities in a selfless mission to provide aid to those who have over-indulged in a night out, those who need a shoulder to cry on as well as seeking to help other at-risk groups.
“This was a real eye-opening experience for me,” said the provost on her night spent with the pastors.
“All year round, these volunteers selflessly take to the streets of the city centre offering all manner of support from first aid to even just handing out flip-flops or teas or coffee. The Street Pastors are a valuable and treasured part of the network of support for night time revellers in the City.”
In 2017 alone, Stirling Street Pastors approximately: handed out 345 pairs of flip flops, cleaned up 874 glass bottles from the street, served up 304 hot drinks and water, and supported 143 vulnerable people.
The Street Pastors have been operating since 2003, beginning in Brixton, London and reaching Stirling on March 27th, 2009. Stirling’s branch includes 26 Christian volunteers from local churches who cover the busiest sections of Stirling’s nightlife, from the Upper Craig’s to the train and bus stations.
“On Saturday it was a privilege to see how the Street Pastors respond to that first hand, and the whole experience made me feel very happy that I picked them as my Charity of the Year,” continued the provost.
The title of charity of the year for 2018 has been awarded by Stirling’s provost amongst competition for Stirling to be crowned European Volunteering Capital of 2019 against the Italian city of Padova.
Angus Hunter, Stirling’s Street Pastor team leader for the Saturday night outing had this to say on his experience with the provost: “It was great to have the provost along with us on Saturday… Having the support of the provost is a real boost and I hope Saturday night helped spread the word of our work even further across Stirling.”
If you would like to know more about the typical night of a Street Pastor in Stirling, Brig’s own Harry Williamson published his own experiences on a night with the street pastors here.