Kettering Street Pastors in plea for volunteers

editorial image

A group which tends to those worse for wear on nights out in Kettering has issued a desperate plea for volunteers.

Kettering Street Pastors will relaunch this month as part of a bid to attract more helpers.

When the group began in 2011 it had 42 volunteers, but with that number down to just 16 co-ordinator Don Spooner says without more people the service could be lost.

Mr Spooner, 67, said: “We send out a team every Saturday night into Kettering from 11pm until 3am.

“We have been out every weekend since our original launch in 2011 and we are appreciated by the police, Pubwatch and Kettering Council.

“We are Christians but we don’t hit people over the head with a Bible, we’re not judgmental.

“We just want to help people.”

The group, which comprises of four team members going out each weekend, offers assistance by giving out items such as flip-flops, lollipops and blankets.

They also wait with people while an ambulance is called, try to get people reunited with their friends, give out bottles of water and lately have been giving soup and space blankets to rough sleepers.

Mr Spooner says while there aren’t as many nightclubs in the town as there once was, their work is still important.

He said: “There are two cases that stick in the mind about dangerous things happening in the night-time economy.

“One is the rape and murder of India Chipchase and another is a girl who was attacked in Birmingham after leaving a club.

“Things like this can be prevented if more care is taken of people when they are on the streets.

“It’s an amazing outreach for the church.

“We don’t try and preach although we will talk about our faith if asked.”

The group will now relaunch on February 27 at the Toller Church in Gold Street at 7pm.

There will be representatives from the Ascension Trust, police, Kettering Council and Churches Together and a short film about their work.

Those wishing to become a street pastor must be members of or adherents to a church and have two references and DBS clearance.