Can’t walk in your heels? Then get a pair of flip-flops!

COMFY Drunks are given flip-flops to walk home in if they're struggling in their heels

COMFY Drunks are given flip-flops to walk home in if they're struggling in their heels

Daniel Bates

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THEY are known in Gosport as the flip-flop brigade.

They might have started their night out glammed up and in towering heels.

But when it all gets too much and they’ve had one too many, they need a hand.

Or more accurately a shoe they can walk in.

And that’s where the Gosport street pastors step in handing out flip-flops to revellers.

In the past year they have given out 379 pairs.

Lesley Davis, street pastor co-ordinator for Gosport, said: ‘Ninety per cent of the girls are wearing high-heeled shoes. Victoria Beckham has a lot to answer for.

‘After they have been walking around after a long night of drinking they get drunk and take their shoes off.

‘Because bottles of broken glass are on the streets we give them flip-flops.

‘So the girls know they can come up to us.

‘If we see them walking barefoot along the road we give them flip-flops.’

Lesley said the girls are grateful for the help.

‘We have a tremendous rapport with the people out there. They know us very well, they look for us.

‘They’re always grateful for being given something for their feet.

‘Their feet are quite sore after wearing those shoes.

‘When they see us they say “there’s the flip-flop brigade”.’

Gosport’s street pastors patrol Stoke Road, High Street and White Lion Walk on Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm to 3am.

They raise their money from local churches and from organisations that provide them with some funding.

Giving out flip-flops is just one of the services they provide.

In the past year, the pastors disposed of 824 discarded bottles, witnessed 65 anti-social incidents and made contact with 2,101 revellers.

They have been working in the town since December 2008.

There are around 34 members from 10 local churches and nine new recruits are about to start training.

Lesley added: ‘A lot of the girls and some of the lads walk around with very little clothes on so we give them blankets.

‘We pick up a lot of bottles which could get broken and used as weapons.

‘We call taxis for vulnerable people and we call their relatives if they are incapable of getting home on their own.’

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