Extra funding for the flip-flop angels

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The charity whose street pastors patrol the centre of Levenmouth on Friday and Saturday nights, helping to reduce disorder, has been given a funding boost to help it expand.

The street pastors network, administered by The Ascension Trust (Scotland), operates in 13 towns and cities across Scotland, including Levenmouth, and is about to move into 13 more communities, including Glenrothes and St Andrews.

But before the charity expands it will use a grant from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland to pay for expert advice on how best to move forward.

The Foundation has awarded the charity a £4182 grant under its Capacity Building programme, which is designed to help voluntary groups review how well they are performing and put improvements in place.

Mary Craig, the Foundation’s Chief Executive, said: “The board of The Ascension Trust (Scotland) is aware that it has already developed relatively quickly and does not want to overstretch its capabilities. We are delighted that we have been able to help shape and sustain the organisation in the years ahead.”

Ascension is also looking to launch a number of another initiatives, including a schools pastors programme in which trained people will help to ensure that pupils can get home safely from school.

Established in 2010 and supported by most churches, the charity trains volunteers who patrol town centres, touring bars and clubs, talking to people and providing a calming presence in a bid to quash any trouble and make the areas safer.

The street pastors, who wear distinctive uniforms, have been called the “flip-flop” angels as they give out flip-flops to women tottering about on high heels. They also remove glasses and bottles from the streets.

Street pastors currently operate in Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline as well as Levenmouth.

Susan Smith, project support worker with The Ascension Trust (Scotland), said: “The grant from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland will help us expand further, and train and audit more volunteers.”