THE Bridges shopping centre is helping to care for Sunderland’s late-night revellers.
The city’s Street Pastors team has moved into a unit on the outskirts of Market Square, giving them a city centre base more visible and convenient on a weekend.
The Bridges has leased the unit – christened Connect – to the organisation free of charge as part of its commitment to supporting the local community.
Street Pastors co-ordinator Colin Fozzard said: “We are so grateful to the Bridges centre management team for making this happen. To have a home right in the heart of Sunderland is so helpful and beneficial to us. We have a team of volunteers on the streets every Friday and Saturday night between 10pm and 4am. It can be really hard during the cold and rainy months so it’s great to be able to come back to Connect, restock, refuel and get back onto the streets. Since we’ve moved to our new base, awareness of Street Pastors has grown which is an added benefit. The £500 grant was a welcome bonus, enabling us to make-over the unit and buy the furniture we needed to make it a functional space.
“Whether it’s providing directions, blankets or ensuring people get home safely we’re here to help our community.”
Sunderland Street Pastors has also been awarded a £500 grant from the ARISE Initiative, backed by Bridges owner Land Securities, which supports individuals and organisations that benefit the community. Bridges director Andy Bradley said: “We are always looking for new ways to support our local community. The Street Pastors is an absolutely amazing organisation that not only shows true dedication and commitment but real care for the people of Sunderland.”