This Saturday, December 16, Borders Sreet Pastors will arm themselves with their wooly hats, flipflops and lollies, and head out on their 100th patrol.
Teams, made up of volunteers from churches throughout the Borders, will be out in Hawick and Galashiels between 11pm and 3.30am, assisting late-night revellers.
Since the summer of 2016, the Street Pastors have been offering confidential and non-judgemental help to Borderers who may have over-indulged or may be in need of other forms of assistance.
Co-ordinator Duncan Cameron from Galashiels said: “The welcome from folk on the streets has been truly amazing, folk really appreciate the work we do and understand that we aren’t there to judge, but to listen, care and help.
“Hugs and selfies are a regular feature of a Saturday night patrol.”
The Borders crews have given out nearly 900 pairs of flip flops and well over 4,000 lollypops, as well as 150 woolly hats and over 50 foil blankets when the weather turned colder.
They also remove glass bottles from the street, with 2,500 having been disposed of.
First aid training has come in helpful on a number of occasions and where necessary, an ambulance called.
During the rugby 7s season, Street Pastors assisted in both Melrose and Earlston and were also present during Hawick Common Riding and the Braw Lads Gathering in Galashiels – and they are looking at doing more.
Duncan added: “During 2018 our aim is to increase the number of patrols in Hawick and we would appeal to folk in the Christian community to consider whether they might like to get involved with this extremely rewarding work.
“We would also like to extend our support for the various events which occur in the Borders during the summer months, especially the common ridings, and are also looking for what we are calling ‘Day Pastors’ – folk from Borders churches who may not want to be out to the wee small hours, but would consider doing this work during the day.”
Borders Street Pastors can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07708 060918.