Founder welcomes Street Pastors

A commissioning service for three new Arbroath Street Pastor volunteers was held at the Old & Abbey Church on Tuesday.

It was conducted by the Rev. Les Isaac, OBE, founder of the Street Pastor movement in Brixton in 2003, who was visiting Arbroath as part of a Scottish tour.

Mr Isaac, who originally comes from Antigua, was accompanied by his wife Louise.

The three new members are Robina Herd, Margaret Cameron and Anne-Marie Boyd.

During Tuesday’s open day, Rev. Isaac spoke about the movement in general after commissioning the new volunteers to the ranks of the Arbroath team.

The Arbroath Street Pastors initiative, which helps people who are seen as vulnerable on the town’s streets at weekends, was launched at Angus College in May, 2011.

Street Pastors is a national initiative run by the Ascension Trust that brings together a range of local churches. Volunteers are trained to care for, listen to and support individuals who may be vulnerable on the streets of Arbroath at the weekend.

Various activities are undertaken by the Street Pastors from issuing flip flops to young girls who have ‘party feet’ thus avoiding potential injuries from glass or bottles, to supplying drinks of water and getting people home safely.

After being pioneered in London in 2003 by the Rev. Les Isaac, director of the Ascension Trust, the movement has seen some remarkable results, including drops in crime in areas where teams have been working. There are now over 8,000 volunteers around the United Kingdom.

Arbroath Street Pastors is the 13th initiative in Scotland with neighbouring areas in Aberdeen and Perth also taking part in the scheme.

The Arbroath initiative is chaired by local minister Alan Herd, of the Elim Pentecostal Church.