CommunityChaplainWatch Bundaberg to open its doors

ChaplainWatch Bundaberg to open its doors

ChaplainWatch Bundaberg
There are currently 10 people involved in the ChaplainWatch Bundaberg and more volunteers are always welcome. Photo: Perry Gregory, Jo Blundell, Frank Fiorenza, Tia McLeod and Andrew Steel.

ChaplainWatch Bundaberg will soon open its doors in the Bundaberg CBD to ensure people stay safe on a night out.

ChaplainWatch Bundaberg team leader Frank Fiorenza said the initiative had been a mobile operation in the area for a few years.

Now they're looking forward to providing a safe place on Bourbong Street.

Operated by trained volunteers, ChaplainWatch reduces drunk and disorderly behaviour in the Bundaberg CBD on weekends.

Frank said as the facility neared completion, they had a soft opening at the beginning of December, which proved popular with the community celebrating the Christmas and New Year period.

“We’ve been running for a few years with foot patrols,” Frank said.

“It was always the plan to have a facility – we really see the benefit for the community in it.

“Since opening in the first week of December we have had people in most nights – we operate Friday and Saturday nights from 10.30 pm to 3.30 am.”

ChaplainWatch takes situations off street

All members of the ChaplainWatch program, conducted in designated Safe Night Precincts throughout Queensland, are trained in CPR, first-aid, mental health and managing aggression, and hold a blue card in order to work with people under the age of 18.

“ChaplainWatch provides a safe space,” Frank said.

“During the New Year period we were able to help a few people, some who had mental health struggles by having a safe space for them to be in.

“We are able to take situations off the street – deescalate the situation and help people make it home.

“It maybe they just need something simple, as they’ve lost their phone or don’t have a charger, so we help to get them home safe.”

ChaplainWatch Bundaberg call for volunteers

Frank said there were currently 10 people involved in the ChaplainWatch Bundaberg and more volunteers were always welcome.

“Our role is always chaplains first, who can also provide first aid when needed,” he said.

“We have specialised training. Our chaplaincy work consists of problem solving, and we have safety intervention training.”

ChaplainWatch Bundaberg is located in the Safe Night Precinct at 57 Bourbong Street, near Natures Emporium.