Merton Street Pastors patrol the streets to help people during the evenings.
A well-valued volunteer group in Merton has been given £1,100 by pubs and clubs to help support them in their work.
For the past month, venues across Wimbledon have collected money for the Merton Street Pastors, who patrol the streets on a number of Friday nights each month.
The volunteers are a group of Christians from churches in Merton who look to care, help and listen to people in the late evenings, especially those feeling vulnerable.
Merton Street Pastors’ coordinator, John Goddard, said: “We’ve built good relationships with the pubs and clubs in Wimbledon over the years and it’s fantastic that they have organised this collection to support our work as it just goes to show how much they appreciate what we do.”
The group currently has 30 volunteers representing 22 different churches, who have all attended a 50 hour training course running over 12 Saturdays, and helped fundraise towards the £300 cost per person for the training.
Once trained, the volunteers will help patrol the streets at least one night a month.
Helen Clark Bell, Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District (BID) Manager, said they support and promote the excellent work the group undertake.
“Street pastors nationally are recognised within many town centres as providing a great source of support and help for the evening visitors to the town centre,” she said.
“Being volunteers the Merton Street Pastors are an extremely valuable resource and of huge benefit to the town centre.”
The money was collected through the Pubwatch scheme. Pubwatch hold meetings once a month between pubs, clubs, the Metropolitan Police and Love Wimbledon, to discuss action against crime and ensure Wimbledon is safe and enjoyable in the evenings.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Police statistics show a significant decrease in violent offenders in pubs where Pubwatch is in operation.
“The rapid growth of the scheme clearly shows the value placed on Pubwatch by both the licensed trade and the police.”
Photo courtesy of eppingforestdc, with thanks.
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