Haverhill Town Pastors were praised for the good work they do by the town council, with the mayor saying he is ‘humbled’ by their deeds.
Captain Andrew Payne, who coordinates the scheme which sees members of Haverhill and District Churches Together take to the town centre of Haverhill on Friday nights/Saturday mornings to comfort and assist people out in the town, spoke to Haverhill Town Council at Tuesday’s (24) meeting at the arts centre to update them on how the initiative is going as it approaches its third year.
“The figures don’t really tell the story but do give a little idea of where we are,” said Capt Payne. “A lot of what we do is just being there at particular moments, and we have used first aid in several incidents recently.”
The pastors deputy chairman Ian Levett then spoke about his experiences volunteering under the scheme, explaining an incident where first aid was given to a girl having an epileptic fit as they waited for a first responder to arrive.
“Without the first aid training I wouldn’t have attempted what we did,” he said.
“This young lady was on the bench and had six seizures – it was ten minutes before a first responder arrived and 45 minutes before an ambulance arrived. There were five of us there – the two pastors, the special constable, the police constable, and the first responder – and of those five four were volunteers, so it shows the voluntary sector that we have in Haverhill.”
He also said how he helped a drunken 17 year old boy and avoided him getting a criminal record. Cllr Ernie Goody said: “Instances like this are why I’m happy to support you as we’ve all been 17 and done silly things so he must be grateful to avoid a criminal record for making a mistake on a night out on the lash.”
Town mayor Roger André said: “I’m personally humbled by the service the town pastors give with a whole dedicated team behind them and they have to do a lot of training and take on responsibility, so thank you for your contribution to the town.”
Capt Payne said the pastors may seek financial support from the town council before entering its third year next June.