Our TPL Town Pastors (TPs) would describe their role as very worthwhile, fun and interesting; walking the streets, looking out for those who may need our help. Greeting all those they meet out on the streets with a smile, the first initial contact with TPs can lead to a very meaningful encounter, offering pastoral or practical support to someone in need.
Whilst the vast majority of people on the streets are enjoying themselves safely, each shift will always uncover those who by their own doing or someone else’s, have been affected by illness, excess of alcohol drugs or other substances, crime or separation from friends or family – these are the people TPs are there to help.
Whilst we do not carry money, we contact loved ones to arrange transport, call the police, ambulance or other agencies for assistance, escort vulnerable people home or to a place of safety, look out for dangerous situations developing, defuse tension by talking to those who might become disorderly, and generally comfort those in distress.
The friendly public face of the TPL project, TPs walk many miles each shift around the streets of Lowestoft, looking out for those in need. Kitted out in our hi-vis yellow and blue TPL uniform, TPs patrol in male-female pairs, equipped with earpiece radio and carrying vital equipment such as water and chocolate, basic first aid, space blankets and a dustpan & brush for broken glass. For their safety, our TPs only operate in the CCTV-monitored area from the north end of Lowestoft High Street down through the precinct area of London Road North, across Station Square to the Bascule Bridge and then south towards the Claremont Pier along the promenade, Marine Parade and London Road South, encompassing the main pub and nightclub district of the town.
Once Town Pastor applicants have made a formal application and have been successfully referenced by their church minister (or equivalent), then they are encouraged to come out on a shadow shift to experience what the TPL scheme is all about and the work of our Town Pastors on the streets.