The Tower Hamlets Street Pastors (THSP), made up of volunteers from local churches in the East End of London who work alongside local authorities to look after homeless people in Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Mile End and Poplar, as well as patrolling the area’s streets to help make them safer, has received funding from Yorkshire-based Engage Mutual.
Father Kevin Scully, a rector in Bethnal Green and an Engage Mutual customer is a regular volunteer with THSP. He signed up to the mutual’s ‘engage with your community’ customer initiative and applied for funding to help increase the number of volunteers patrolling Tower Hamlets’ streets at night.
THSP was one of three successful charities chosen to receive funding of up to £5,000, from a range of UK-wide applications received by Engage Mutual.
Engage Mutual will provide £4,500 of financial support and work alongside the charity to help train eight additional street pastors. The money will also allow THSP to equip volunteers with key supplies, such as bottled water, warm gloves and hats to hand-out to those in need of help.
Speaking of the support, Father Scully said:
“The funding from Engage Mutual will be invaluable in ensuring we have more volunteers patrolling the streets at night. Training a further eight pastors costs around £2,400.
“As well as this the funding will allow us to purchase much needed supplies such as warm clothing, essential for the most vulnerable in our community especially as we approach winter.”
The ‘engage with your community’ initiative is open to all customers of Engage Mutual who are regularly involved with a good cause or community initiative.
Tina Jessop, head of brand at Engage Mutual, explains:
“As a mutual organisation we are committed to supporting our local communities and good causes.
“The aim of engage with your community is to encourage and reward our customers for doing the same. The work which THSP undertakes has a real, positive impact on its local community and I hope our support can help to cement that.”