Two local people who help keep Eastbourne safe were invited to Downing Street by the town’s MP Caroline Ansell for the Local Community Safety Champions’ reception.

Ken Ross is the lead on Eastbourne Neighbourhood Watch and Graeme Bunn is the coordinator for the Eastbourne Street Pastors.

Both went through the famous black door with Caroline to meet with security minister Tom Tugendhat and be celebrated for the contribution made by the volunteers they represented.

The Street Pastors team step out on Friday and Saturday nights between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. to be a support to people out on the town and as valued partners to the police and venue security guards. The Street Pastors help in very practical ways too, clearing away broken and discarded bottles which could be a source of injury, providing water, flip flops to those out late and of course, their hallmark lollipop.

The aim of Neighbourhood Watch is to help people get together with their neighbours to reduce crime in their area through community safety initiatives. There are schemes across the town. Some of their initiatives have included establishing no cold calling zones and ensuring everyone has important local contact numbers at their fingertips.    

“I was delighted to welcome local coordinators Graeme and Ken to No 10 where community groups from across the country were represented, celebrated and thanked for their sterling contribution,” said Caroline.

“Locally, the value added by both organisations is, I know, very much appreciated by the local community but also by Sussex Police, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne Borough Council and many partners and stakeholders.

“A huge thank you to all those who volunteer and serve as part of Eastbourne Street Pastors and Eastbourne Neighbourhood Watch for all they do to help keep us safe.”

Graeme said: “The Eastbourne Street Pastors team of over 50 volunteers is just one of many organisations and services who work every weekend to offer help to those who are vulnerable for whatever reason.

“It was a privilege to meet with people from across the UK who work to keep our communities safe and it was comforting to hear from so many others how their MPs like our MP Caroline Ansell do so much to help and encourage them in their work.”

Ken said: “I would like to thank Caroline for inviting me to Downing Street. It was an honour and a wonderful experience to meet the minister and others from across the country who do so much for their communities. I was proud to represent all those in Eastbourne who work so hard in their own time on Neighbourhood Watch.”