PEOPLE on a night out in Carmarthen were given a helping hand by the Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police when he spent the night with a group of volunteer street pastors.
CC Mark Collins took to the streets with the Nightlight team, keeping an eye out for anyone in need of assistance, and handing out bottles of water, flip flops and plasters.
The group volunteers from 11pm to 3am around the pubs and clubs in Carmarthen, doing their bit to keep revellers and vulnerable people safe. After meeting some of the team at a chaplaincy event, Mr Collins was keen to find out more about their work and arranged to go out on a shift with them.
He said: “It was really interesting to see the number of people they engaged with over the night. It was a combination of being approached by people and identifying who might benefit from their help.
“They take first aid kits out, foil blankets for people who need to warm up, flip flops for people who have given up on their shoes, and water for people who have had a bit too much to drink and need to be hydrated. They’re basically there to help anyone who needs it.
“It was really good for me to see first-hand the work they do in helping to keep the streets of Carmarthen safe. They do so much – from moving bottles so nobody gets cut by the glass, to giving basic first aid.”
Nightlight has been running for seven years, and volunteers have come to be a welcome face for drinkers and bar staff.
“What is amazing is that Nightlight have celebrated their seventh anniversary, and they haven’t missed a night out,” Mr Collins said. “They go out every Saturday, Sundays on bank holidays, and have done so for seven years. It’s such a commitment.
“The reaction from people they spoke to was extremely positive, and I think they’re an asset to Carmarthen. I would like to say a big thank you to all their volunteers for the help they give our neighbourhood policing team in keeping people safe.”
Since his stint as a volunteer, Mr Collins has arranged to spend a further night with the team in the summer. He hopes to see the differences in the night time economy between the colder winter months, and the summer when an influx of tourists hit the force area.
Nightlight is run by churches and chapels across Carmarthen and is always happy to hear from people who would like to help out. If you’re interested in getting involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.