Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore used the launch of the latest scheme at Leiston in Suffolk to announce the award of £50,000 to all 10 schemes across the county.
Speaking to the East Anglian Daily Times Mr Passmore said: "I am absolutely delighted to see the launch of the Town Pastor scheme in Leiston. I’ve seen at first hand the excellent work of the Town Pastors and am overwhelmed by their commitment.
"I spent an evening with the pastors in Ipswich and it was a real eye opener for me, it really helped me understand just how vulnerable some people can become on a fun evening out.
"The care and compassion of the pastors, all of whom are volunteers was particularly striking – apart from providing bottles of water or chocolate, the assistance and advice given by them clearly has a very positive effect in helping to keep our towns safe on Fridays and Saturdays.”
Leiston becomes the 10th Town Pastor scheme in Suffolk, joining Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Woodbridge, Haverhill and Sudbury in serving their towns in the night-time economy, providing care for those out enjoying the night-life or in need. The first Town Pastors scheme outside Suffolk opened in Dereham, Norfolk earlier this year.
Also attending the launch was the Bishop of Dunwich, the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, who said Town Pastors are “a great example of unfussy service provided by motivated, well-intentioned and properly trained Christian volunteers who are prepared to walk the streets in all weathers, late at night, for the sake of others”.
“The Town Pastors initiative is unique in its contribution to community life – providing a listening ear, supporting and caring for potentially vulnerable people in our towns at night – activity which is undergirded by prayer from other volunteers while the Town Pastors are out and about.”
The full report can be seen in this article from the East Anglian Daily Times.