Work has started to turn a vacant shop on Bridge Street into a space that will benefit the local community and help keep Warrington’s streets safe. The former taxi office is being transformed, with the help the Warrington BID and volunteers, into ‘Help on the Corner’ when it opens its doors in a few months time.
The project is being led by the Street Pastors, a group of uniformed and trained volunteers from local churches who patrol Warrington, usually from 11pm to 4 am, on a Friday and Saturday night, to care for, listen to and help people who are out on the streets. They have been helping people in Warrington over the last two years and to help reduce anti-social behaviour and disorder in the town.
This positive impact has driven the Street Pastors to seek a space to help them expand their offering and further support the police, publicans and club owners in the town centre.
The ‘Help on the Corner’ will provide a hub for the Street Pastors and a safe place to administer practical help for those in need. This can be anything from providing a bottle of water, treating minor injuries or contacting family for people who have lost phones, wallets or become separated from their friends.
The project has been made possible due to a £5,000 donation from town centre businesses via the Warrington BID and support from young volunteers taking part in The Prince’s Trust Team Programme, which is managed by Groundwork. They have helped to clean and decorate the new premises. The initiative is also supported by Cheshire Police and Pubwatch as part of Warrington Borough Council’s night time economy task force, which aims to develop a safe, secure, enterprising, inclusive and vibrant night time economy.
The space has been loaned free of charge by ABBA Cars and Warrington Borough Council have agreed to suspend the business rates.
John Britton, Chairman of the Street Pastors Trustees, said: “The last two years have been both challenging and rewarding for our volunteers, to know that we are making a difference has really spurred the team on! Our new home on Bridge Street will allow us to deal with the many varied situations we come across, in a safe and friendly environment. Sometimes it’s as simple as providing a pair of flip-flops for someone who’s broken a heel on their shoe and other times we are working closely with emergency services to treat someone who has found themselves in a difficult situation.”
Dawn McElroy, Chair of the Warrington BID, said: “One of the BID’s key themes is to promote a safer town centre and deliver investment in crime prevention initiatives, over and above the services provided by Warrington Council and Cheshire Police. The Street Pastors have been doing fantastic work and we are pleased to be able to help their work continue and expand. This project is one of many that we will be supporting over the next five years as Warrington strives for Purple Flag status.”
Chief Inspector, Simon Meegan from Cheshire Police said: “The Street Pastors hard work and support has had a hugely positive impact on tackling alcohol related crime and disorder, we really do appreciate everything they do. I’m confident that Help on the Corner will allow them to continue and expand their great work, which benefits the local community and businesses of Warrington.”
For more information please contact Kate Pearson @ Cunning Plan Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org / 07894 055959
Notes to Editors
The Warrington Business Improvement District (BID) is a new group of private sector led retailers and companies planning a £1.8 million investment in additional promotion and marketing campaigns, better transport links, enhanced safety initiatives, bigger and better events along with improvements that will make Warrington town
centre cleaner, greener and a better place to shop, work and spend leisure time.
About Street Pastors
Street pastors are trained volunteers from local churches who care about their community.
They patrol in teams of men and women, usually from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on a Friday and Saturday night, to care for, listen to and help people who are out on the streets.
A street pastor is someone who is…
a Christian and is part of a local church;
concerned for society and their local community;
willing to engage with people, whatever their perspective on life and wherever they hang out;
happy to work in a team and in collaboration with other agencies and projects, both statutory and voluntary.
Groundwork CLM is part of Groundwork UK, which for over 30 years has been changing places and changing peoples’ lives. We’re passionate about creating a future where everywhere is vibrant and green, every community is strong and able to shape its own destiny and where everyone can reach their potential. We help people to carry out thousands of projects each year. Tackling climate change. Helping people out of fuel poverty. Bringing out the best in young people by helping them to improve their local area. Building stronger communities by improving green space. Getting people back into work by creating green jobs.
More often than not this activity will focus on one or more of our three main areas of work:
- Creating better greener places
- Promoting greener living and working
- Improving people’s prospects
The Prince’s Trust Team Programme
The programme is a free 16-week personal development course for people aged 16-25. It provides a number of exciting challenges that will stretch you to your limits. You’ll meet new people and gain all sorts of new skills that will change the way you think of your future. This well-established nationally recognised programme ensures most participants enter employment, education or training within three months of completion.