News

Inverclyde Street Pastors – making a difference in our communities

Public meeting December 4th at 12noon in the Tontine Hotel, Greenock

With the Covid restrictions lifting, Inverclyde Street Pastors have been back out again in the night time economy around the pubs and clubs, listening, helping and caring. Operating in Inverclyde since October 2010, initially in Greenock, their teams now are also in Gourock and Port Glasgow and on local trains as Rail Pastors. 

With their gentle approach plus flip flops, thermal blankets, lollipops and first aid, they strike up many conversations during the course of an evening and are able to be of practical help as well as being a listening ear for those who find themselves in difficulties. The Pastors are all volunteers and they know they are effective because of what people tell them, even to the point of saving some from suicide, plus they get loads of thanks for what they do. The recent pandemic has left many, many people, both young and old, with mental health issues and Street Pastors can chat to them and signpost them for help. 

Inverclyde Street Pastor Co-ordinator Alistair McAlees said, ‘We would like to do more, but need to add to our Street pastor numbers before we can do so. We hope that there might be people out there for whom this might be an attractive way to serve our local community, assuming they are 18 or older (no upper age limit), have a Christian faith and church background and have a heart for their local community to engage with them in this way. Full free training is given and the commitment is just to be out on patrol with us on one Saturday evening every four weeks. 

‘We are holding a short open meeting in the Tontine Hotel on Saturday 4th December at 12noon, with tea and coffee available from 11.30am, to show in more detail what we do, and would encourage folks to come along to this occasion. There will also be the opportunity to come out on one of our patrols, without obligation, to get a better idea of where we go and what we do.’

More information generally about Street Pastors in Scotland can be found at www.scotland.asceniontrust.org.uk or by getting in touch with Alistair on 07740 201 853 or by email to inverclyde@streetpastors.org.uk

Training of Medical Students

Scottish Street Pastors have met a request from St Andrew’s University to provide placements as part of the training of medical students. In Scotland there are 600 experienced Street Pastors who have had training, PVG checks, and are on the streets with the support of Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and localauthorities. Their uniformed teams are on the streets of 20 towns and cities from approx 10pm – 3 or 4 am one or two nights a week to “listen, help and care”.

Life on the streets is unpredictable with the teams coming across all kinds of people with mental health issues, ex-service issues, problems connected with addiction, homelessness, disclosures of abuse, suicide threats, etc. The students report positively learning how to listen. and comment on the importance of team support and morale, as in the appended report. Below is the report.

An example to be followed by other medical schools ! Further information may be had from scotland@ascensiontrust.org.uk