Street Pastors at the heart of Street Partners

Fubar nightclub in Stirling has become the first official ‘Street Partner’ in a new scheme launched by Street Pastors in the city to recognise local partnerships that work together for safety in the night-time economy.

A celebration event at the club saw the commissioning of new street pastors and the presentation to Fubar of a specially designed Street Partners wooden plaque.

Stirling Street Pastors are part of the national Street Pastors network, launched in 2003 by Reverend Les Isaac. Street pastors are Christians with a concern for their community who have been trained to care for, listen to and help people in practical ways and provide a reassuring presence in local communities. Street Pastors is an initiative of the Ascension Trust, which has mobilised local churches to get involved in the night-time economy and the problems that many towns and cities face. Ascension Trust Scotland was founded in 2010 to take responsibility for teams in Scotland.

Across the UK the charity now has more than 11,000 trained volunteers in 270 locations. Volunteers go out on patrol from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. and provide support to anyone in need, with anything from helping them get home safely to handing out flip flops to women with sore feet.

The coordinator of Street Pastors in Stirling, James Mackenzie, said “We believe that our work listening to, caring for and practically assisting thousands of members of the public has made a positive difference to the night-time economy. We want to keep doing what we do and are looking to local businesses to support the future and development of our service.”

Commenting on the award, Fubar’s Erin Lewis described how the partnership works between Fubar’s door staff and Street Pastors. “We use a local radio system to call street pastors when they are on their shift. If any of our customers need assistance to make their way home safely or have lost their friends or are distressed in any way, street pastors come down and help them. They take them to a safe place, or get a taxi for them. It’s a great partnership and it means that we are confident that someone who is in need of a bit of extra assistance is in safe hands when they leave here, instead of wandering the streets on their own.”

The Street Partners scheme gives businesses the opportunity to support Street Pastors and affirm the value of working together for the safety of local people. Those committing to the Street Partners initiative will be recognised with the award.

“A Street Partner might be a cafe, a taxi company, a pub or a club,” added James Mackenzie. “Displaying this award publicly indicates to members of the public that you are an active partner in the safety of the city centre.”

3/11/14