THE efforts of volunteers to keep revellers safe on the streets of Basingstoke are to feature in a BBC South programme.

The Inside Out team joined the town’s Street Pastors to find out what they encounter on a night patrolling the streets.

The group was set up in 2008 by church members to offer care and a listening ear to those in need of help on a night out.

Giving out lollypops to calm people who could potentially become aggressive, or offering free flip flops to those suffering from painful feet after wearing heeled shoes all night, the team start their duties at 10pm and often do not finish until around 5am.

The documentary will be broadcast next month after film crews took to the streets of Basingstoke before Christmas.

Malcolm Murray, senior team leader for the Street Pastors, said: “The crew filmed on two evenings and they were interested to see how Street Pastors relate to the community.

“They weren’t looking to see what the problems are in Basingstoke. We did what we do every Friday and Saturday night. We help out where we can.”

The team of 50 take it in turn to patrol the town late at night, talking to people and helping those who are very drunk to get home safely.

Inside Out reporter Louise Chandler said: “What I particularly noticed was how the Street Pastor team provide a friendly and sympathetic shoulder for people to cry on and also how respected they are. The party people of Basingstoke seemed to value their help.”

The first Street Pastor group was started in London in 2003 and there are now more than 100 teams around the UK. With even more being set up, the Inside Out team wanted to find out how the established group in Basingstoke works and how they find the motivation to keep going on the cold damp nights.

Father-of-three Mr Murray, from Basingstoke, said: “It’s about putting something back into the community. I really wanted to get involved in the community and we are all volunteers from local churches. Someone came and spoke at my church about it, and I thought ‘this is great, and where we should be’.”