Birmingham's vulnerable to get help
A plan is in place for a team of volunteers to
provide care to vulnerable people on the streets of Birmingham city
centre during the day time.
Funded, in part, by the West Midlands Police
and Crime Commissioner, Networkfour's Birmingham Pastors project
will look to conduct daily patrols on the streets of the second
city. They will be helping to care for the homeless and those most
The faith based initiative is similar to the
national street pastor scheme except for one major difference: it
will operate Monday to Friday between the hours of 08:45 - 14:30,
rather than at night.
Most of the Birmingham Pastors will be
Christians from local churches.
A group of 20 volunteers have already
signalled they will take part, with four trained pastors patrolling
our streets each day. Although, for the scheme to work as planned,
there is a need for over 75 volunteers to be recruited.
Local churches are being contacted to see if
more volunteers can be found.
The pastors will patrol Southside, Westside,
Colmore Row, the retail sector and the Jewellery Quarter.
Each team will be equipped with first aid and
radios so they can care for and treat people as quickly as
possible. If paramedics or the police are needed they will be
called straight away.
The scheme, which is due to launch in
November, will save lives and make Birmingham a safer city.
The West Midlands Police and Crime
Commissioner, David Jamieson, is giving the project an initial
£10,000 as he believes it will help reduce crime. The money will be
used to buy radios, blankets, coats, first aid kits, as well as
covering training costs and insurance.
The PCC is taking money from the Active
Citizens Fund, which is made up of cash that has been seized from
criminals. It can't be spent on employing officers, but is ring
fenced for crime reducing projects like this one.
Gary Wicker is the man behind the new
Birmingham Pastors initiative, he says: "I am so excited to see the
pastor's project take shape and watch as our growing team of
passionate volunteers, from many local churches, gear up to play a
vital part in our city.
"The scheme will allow us to provide
daily support and care for vulnerable children, young people and
hard to reach adults that we meet on our inner city
"It is our intention to help reduce the
impact currently being placed on our emergency services due to cuts
in the public sector."
Anybody who would like to get involved
should contact Networkfour.