EVERYONE needs a little support now and again, but when it is required in the dead of night while struggling through a haze of alcohol, it can be difficult to come by.
This is why Street Pastors were formed. The team from different churches in Ealing patrol on three Friday nights a month looking out for anyone in need.
They were formed in October by Lehoma Tannis-Harriet, a member of the Southall Christian Fellowship, in Hortus Road, Southall.
She said: "We point them in the right direction, either physically by showing them where to catch their bus, or emotionally. We listen to people and give care. We hand out things like blankets and flip flops to the homeless and and tell people how to access services they need, like counselling or a soup kitchen.
"We go out into Acton High Street between 11pm and 4am and now have 18 members from starting out with five. If you need help in the day there are services you can access but at the time we go out there's nobody around. There is a police presence but very often people don't go to them. They are there to keep order but we have a different approach, we're there to listen, to care."
The movement was founded by Les Isaac who was inspired by similar work in Jamaica. Ms Tannis-Harriet, of Hounslow brought the idea to Ealing after attending a church conference in Birmingham. They work with the council and the police in what the mother-of-three calls an Urban Trinity.
And from a pilot scheme in Lambeth in 2003, the movement now has a presence in 30 of the 33 London boroughs. They say crime and anti-social behaviour has fallen wherever they operate.
The Ealing team are planning to expand to Ealing Broadway and Southall and are seeking to recruit new members who will be trained in everything they need to do the job. The five month weekly course includes on-the-street training as well as learning about street life, drugs, support services and other key knowledge.
Ms Tannis-Harriet added: "I'm a midwife and health visitor and both professionally and personally I've seen how people, especially youths, can get in trouble. I thought 'come on, we need to do something' and the church is well placed. It has lots of people with tender, loving hearts who may not be able to give money but have the resource of time."
For more information email Ms Tannis-Harriet on firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07943 855 327.