STREET Pastors in Barnstaple and Bideford are continuing to expand their number of volunteers in an effort to meet the demand for their services,

Pastors are patrolling to help keep people safe in Barnstaple and Bideford on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings from 10 pm. to 4am.

Patrols are also being made in Bideford for similar hours on Friday nights and the Bideford Pastors have also provided support in Holsworthy, Westward Ho! and Torrington.

Over the past 17 months they have helped hundreds of vulnerable people with first aid, emergency clothing, protection from predators, emotional support and more.

They have been credited with saving life.

Bideford co-ordinator Duncan Withall said: “A strong working relationship has been built up with the emergency services, but Street Pastors are keen to assert their independence of any statutory authority. That means they are able to listen and support people in absolute confidence - a valuable asset where relationships or drug dependence is involved.”

On Friday (Nov 19) nine new Street Pastors will be commissioned by Roger Reid, National Co-ordinator for Street Pastors and School Pastors at Lavington Church in Bridgeland Street, Bideford. The event is at 7pm. It is free and open to all.