Unsung Hero: Street pastor who fostered more than 100 children

Surrey Comet: Unsung Hero: Street pastor who fostered more than 100 children Unsung Hero: Street pastor who fostered more than 100 children

A Kingston street pastor who spent more than 40 years fostering children and teenagers in the borough with his late wife, has said it is all about putting the phrase “loving your neighbour” into action.

Grandfather Philip Crump, 75, fostered between 150 to 200 young people over 43 years with his wife Brenda before she died from breast cancer last year.

The father-of-four, who adopted one of his foster children along the way, will now be moving out of Mill Street to live with his son and young grandchildren in Sydenham next week.

He said: “It was my wife’s idea to do the fostering. “I was always very supportive of her and she was always very supportive of me. I will be back from time to time. I have mixed feelings about leaving because I know so many people here but I will get to spend time with my grandchildren.

“When fostering we had children that were here for one week up to one boy that was five and stayed up until 18. He is coming down for Christmas this year which should be good.

“I dropped the children off to school – sometimes if it was a teenager I would have to drop them a road away from the school so they wouldn’t get embarrassed.”

The retired social worker, who specialised in mental health, was one of the first members of the street pastor team that walked the streets of Kingston by night.

In fact, Mr Crump still goes along once a month to make sure night-time revellers are safe.

He said: “I’m still relatively fit and athletic. It is about being some kind of help. If you find someone on the floor you check that they are OK, whether they need an ambulance or help in getting home – it’s putting loving your neighbour into action.”

Mr Crump has also been involved in helping the community through Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness, driving for Surbiton Blind Club and entertaining members of residential care home Murray House in Kingston.

During his spare time Mr Crump enjoys making oil paintings, taking photographs and showing them to the ladies at the care home.

On being nominated an unsung hero, he said: “I just feel so honoured.”

Councillor Chrissie Hitchcock said: “He is a very calm man. He is always doing things for others. He is just such a nice person. I have known him for more than 20 years and he just gets on with everyone. He has always been the same.”

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