I SPENT a long and chilly night accompanying Stroud’s Street Pastors the other Saturday.

These trained volunteers from local churches offer late-night care to the community, going out on patrol from 10pm to 4am in Stroud town centre.

They offer a listening ear as well as care and support to people who are out and about on the streets, working with other agencies such as the police to keep people safe.

The team of four Street Pastors, two women and two men, carry bottles of water and lollipops (to raise sugar levels if need be) and several pairs of flipflops as emergency footwear for people who break or lose their own. We gave out four pairs that night and helped one person to get home safely. It was 5am before we got home ourselves.

This practical help, delivered where and when it’s needed, is something I see time and again from the many church-based groups working in the town, including the Salvation Army, Marah Trust, Stroud District Foodbank and Christians Against Poverty.

This focus on practical support was also evident at a forum on homelessness in Stroud, which I attended with The Salvation Army, P3, other charities and SDC, to look at ways to improve emergency winter shelter for homeless people.

It was inspiring to see groups working together effectively to reduce the number of people sleeping rough.

The greatest need, however, is for more volunteers to help at the emergency shelter. Contact Stroud’s Salvation Army if you think you can help.

Many people have contacted me regarding Brexit and I have published an update on this in the autumn roundup on my website; daviddrewmp.org.uk.

My caseworkers are holding their next mobile surgery on Thursday, December 6 in Chalford Parish Council, GL6 8FJ, from 1.30pm to 3pm.