Chesterfield's street pastors will continue to be funded by Derbyshire police

Chesterfield's street pastors help many people at the weekend.
Chesterfield's street pastors help many people at the weekend.

Derbyshire Constabulary has announced it will continue to fund the Chesterfield street pastors' initiative.

Chesterfield's street pastors are uniformed Christians who are dedicated to helping keep the peace in the town centre, usually between the hours of 10pm on Saturday and 4am on Sunday.

Working alongside police and paramedics, the trained volunteers visit pubs, clubs, nightclubs, foodspots and taxi outlets and befriend, support and listen to people who need help.

They carry a basic first aid kit and hand out items including water to prevent dehydration and flip-flops for revellers struggling to walk home in their killer heels.

They also pick up glass bottles in a bid to reduce hospital admissions and remove potential weapons from the streets.

The scheme in the town - which started in 2011 - began with 24 volunteers and this has now risen to more than 30.

Superintendent Gareth Meadows, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said: "The Chesterfield street pastors are a valuable asset to our night-time economy in Chesterfield, offering a visible and reassuring presence in the town at busy, key times.

"They are volunteers who offer a service which reaches out to people who may be vulnerable – while the broad spectrum of support they provide reduces demand on our officers, as well as paramedics and hospital accident and emergency departments, allowing them to respond to more serious incidents."

Supt Meadows added: "We know that the Chesterfield street pastors will put this funding to very good use and will continue to work with us and other partners to help make the night-time economy a safer environment for people to enjoy."

Reverend Les Isaac started the street pastors' initiative in London in 2003 in response to gun and knife crime.

For more information about the Chesterfield street pastors' scheme, visit www.streetpastors.org/locations/chesterfield