Haverhill Town Pastors have had their invaluable work in the town recognised with a charity of the year award from an umbrella body of voluntary groups.
The Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations (SAVO) awarded the accolade of Charity of the Year of Suffolk Town Pastors, which covers groups Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstoe, Woodbridge, Stowmarket, Sudbury and Haverhill, as well as the original Ipswich group founded in 2006 by Liz Beaton.
Mike Simpkin, from the Haverhill Association of Voluntary Organisations (HAVO), presented the award to the group at the Old Independent Church last Friday (January 25).
“They do really good work here and make an invaluable contribution to the safety and wellbeing of people out enjoying a night throughout the county, and really help people in Suffolk,” he said.
The group’s coordinator Ian Levett said: “This award is a wonderful reflection of the hard work done of Haverhill Town Pastors and our colleagues throughout Suffolk.
“It’s nice to have our work recognised in this way and to receive an award that shows how valued we are within the community.”
Haverhill Town Pastors was set up in August 2010, and now sees a pair or two pairs of volunteers going out from 9pm to 3am every Friday/Saturday in the town centre, and also on special occasions such as New Year’s Eve.
The pastors supported by fellow volunteers in the prayer base and from home as they roam the streets to offer support and assistance to those feeling worse-for-wear, helping defuse tense situations and providing advice and medical assistance.
They also give out free water and Freddo chocolate bars to revellers.
The scheme was set up by Haverhill and District Churches Together, which involves all the churches in Haverhill and some from the surrounding villages.
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 7) Echo.