Norfolk Street Partnership: Norwich Christmas clubbers calmed with lollipops

Lollipops Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Lollipops and chocolates "defuse" the chances of an alcoholic street brawls

A team of volunteers are returning to a city's streets for the first time in a year - armed with lollipops and flip-flops to help defuse any trouble.

The Norfolk Street Partnership (NSP), formerly known as the Street Pastors, aims to help those vulnerable on the streets of Norwich at night.

Reverend Deb Cousins said people find their work made a "big difference" but said the service had faced "cutbacks".

The team will offer flip-flops to women who "can't survive" the night in heels.

"So many lovely young girls who come up in high heels can't survive the evening," said Ms Cousins.

"It's the very practical aspect of giving them something flat to walk home in, without having to mind out if they stand on any glass."

Image caption Flip-flops are a "practical" solution to walking home safely rather than barefoot

The NSP is part of the Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network, an umbrella organisation for many charities and ministries working in the night-time economy.

Following a year of restructuring the team are now working towards being out every weekend.

Volunteers work in teams of four from 22:00 to 03:00 helping wayward clubbers and the homeless.

Image copyright other
Image caption The prayer team aim to defuse situations before they turn in violence around Norwich's nightclubs

"The little that we do in the night-time economy seems to have made, over the years, a big difference to how people feel about themselves knowing there's someone who cares," said Ms Cousins.

"The Christian ecumenical work that it is isn't about pushing religion, but about putting it into practise by caring.

"Being friendly can make a big difference to to the people who are out - be it the clubbers or the rough sleepers.

"It's great to know such a simple thing has such a profound effect, we're part of a team that looking after the night-time economy and that's a great feeling."

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