Volunteers, called Street Pastors, who care for and help people who are vulnerable while out in the city centre at night time, are gearing up for a busy period in the run up to Christmas.
Dozens of Street Pastors help provide support to people between 10pm and 3am in three city centre locations including Skydome Arena, Spon Street, and Corporation Street - up to the Burgess.
Street Pastors are trained volunteers from local churches who care about their community. The team have been in the city centre on Friday 16 December, Saturday 17 December and Friday 23 December.
The Pastors have been operating in the city for nine months and patrol outside bars, restaurants and clubs in clearly branded uniforms.
Working alongside the police, the volunteers aim to support vulnerable people particularly where there is a safeguarding issue.
The team will be based at St John’s Baptist Church on Spon Street this weekend. The volunteers will be giving out tea, coffee and water. Those in need will also be able to rest at the church before they go home.
Councillor Faye Abbott, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “In the run up to Christmas there will be many more people in the city centre. There will be a vibrant atmosphere and the volunteers provide an important and valuable service where they are needed.
“The Street Pastors give up their own time. They do a great job and are a credit to the city.”
The volunteers work with the police and St John Ambulance, so it means that people can be seen in a mini triage. St John Ambulance can also administer to people with minor injuries.
This weekend licensing officers will also join the volunteers when they will monitor licensed premises and talk to pub, club and restaurant managers.
Sergeant Tim Roberts from Coventry Police and liaison for Street Pastors, said: “We want to expand to other areas of the city centre and we are hoping to treble the numbers of Street Pastors in the next 2 years to make Coventry an even safer place to live and work. The Street Pastors have really made their presence in the City Centre felt dealing with and helping members of the community from all walks of life whether that be the most vulnerable to victims of crime and disorder. We are very grateful for all the hard work of our Street Pastors put in across the City.
The Street Pastors are building strong working relationships with local businesses as well as with our many partner agencies. They have become a familiar part of the night time economy and their commitment to patrol and keep the streets safe is really appreciated.”
To find out more about Street Pastors visit http://streetpastors.org/locations/coventry/