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Urgent appeal sounded so more people can be kept safe in Chesterfield town centre

Chesterfield town centre at night.
Chesterfield town centre at night.

Chesterfield's street pastors have sounded an urgent appeal for funding.

Between the hours of 10pm on Saturday and 4am on Sunday, the street pastors patrol the town centre and help to keep thousands of people safe.

Among other things, they offer first aid, water and flip flops to people.

The volunteers are also there to clear glass and listen to individuals who may have life issues.

Jacky Kendrew, coordinator of Chesterfield street pastors, said it costs more than £12,000 per year to keep the service going.

If you would like to help Chesterfield street pastors, donations can be made direct through the initiative's bank account - its account number is 65471137 and its sort code is 08-92-99. For more information about how you can help Chesterfield street pastors, visit streetpastors.org/locations/chesterfield

Jacky said: "Due to cuts in public funding, we are asking for your help in funding for Chesterfield street and school pastors for the next two years, 2019-2020.

"It's usually later in the evening when help is required by giving out bottled water to rehydrate drinkers, flip flops to prevent injuries and first aid.

"The amount of bottled water and flip flops given away has remained consistent with last year at around 200 of each over the year.

"The instances of street pastors giving first aid have also dropped again this year to under 50.

"Less broken glass on the street, greater use of flip flops and more people helped home before they have an accident must all be contributing factors."

She added: "We do not have access to statistics from A&E – but we know that where in the past an ambulance would have been called to a minor injury or for a very drunk person on a Saturday night, it is now street pastors that tend to be called, and we can often deal with the situation without drawing paramedics away from more serious incidents.

"We are regularly getting calls from police to take over the care of a very drunk person, which releases them for other calls.

"Door staff will also ask for us if they see someone who needs our help.

"On both counts this is a trust we have worked hard to earn, hence a major contribution from Derbyshire police."

Chesterfield's street pastors - who have been a presence in the town since 2011 - are currently drawn from 15 different churches.

In addition to helping people on the streets of the town, there is a dedicated team of school pastors working alongside staff at Parkside School.