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Street Pastor Scheme Wins Public Vote

Street Pastor Scheme Wins Public Vote

Pontypridd’s Street Pastors who spend their Saturday nights on the streets, helping and supporting those who are vulnerable and need assistance after a night on the town have been awarded £3,000 to continue their excellent work.

This week the successful project, which was launched last year by nine local churches and supported by the Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership received the donation from the 2013 Lloyds Bank Community Fund.

The amount was presented after a public vote across the South Wales Valleys saw almost 38% of voters favouring the Street Pastors scheme which helps make Pontypridd a safer place to visit.

The Fund saw more than 2,300,000 votes cast across England, Wales and the Isle of Man. In the South Wales Valleys 8,409 people voted for several organizations with the Pontypridd project gaining the most votes.

This means that the Street Pastors scheme will continue to flourish and offer much-needed support for visitors to Pontypridd, especially those who are vulnerable.

The funding will allow them to purchase flip-flop shoes for women who have discarded their shoes at the end of the night and are in danger of walking on broken glass. The volunteers pay for their own training and uniforms, so the fund will help suitable volunteers with costs when they find this difficult to meet.

The scheme forms a key part of the far-reaching work already in place to ensure crime and disorder in Pontypridd remains low. This work, which also includes strong partnerships with businesses and licensed premises, taxi marshals, CCTV and more.

Working in partnership, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and South Wales Police have introduced a whole range of operations in the town centre during the last few years to crackdown on anti-social behaviour. The vast improvement to peoples’ safety is now coming to fruition and being recognised by landlords, businesses and visitors alike.

Street Pastors are voluntary workers who work on a six-week rota and patrol the streets every Saturday night from 10pm to 3am.

Cllr Paul Cannon, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Community Safety, said: Street Pastors has helped enormously to change the perception people often wrongly have on Pontypridd because the positive impact they continue to have on the town centre is far reaching.

“Alongside a host of other crime-reduction initiatives, Pontypridd is a far safer place for people to visit and enjoy themselves.

“The news of this investment means that such innovative work can continue and have a genuine, positive effect on Pontypridd. Our congratulations on this much-deserved award.”

Street pastor volunteer Rev Peter Lewis added, “It is great to see people affirm Street Pastors and we feel very supported by them on these cold winters nights and early mornings."

Street Pastors is an inter-denominational church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and talk.

It was pioneered in London in January 2003 by Rev Les Isaac, Director of the Ascension Trust, and has seen some remarkable results, including reductions in crime in areas where teams have been working. There are now some 9,000 trained volunteers in around 250 teams around the UK.

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