Source (includes video of the night)
Caring volunteers who keep watch over vulnerable revellers have been praised for their voluntary efforts.
The Street Angel volunteers across Teesside give up their time on a weekend to support those who find themselves in need after a night out.
Armed with first aid kits, blankets, lollipops and flip-flops, the volunteers can also direct people to taxis and call relatives for those who find themselves lost or disorientated.
They also refer people with underlying problems to agencies who can offer professional support.
Their contribution to the community was recognised at an evening of celebration at Stockton Baptist Tabernacle this week.
Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Jacqui Cheer, who handed out certificates to the 96 volunteers, described their service as “magnificent”.
“As well as the care and compassion they bring, they also help prevent a lot of late-night crime,” she said.
“I do believe we would be dealing with more incidents late in the night and in the early hours of the morning if it weren’t for the Street Angels.
“They help people who may otherwise have got more drunk and caused trouble or committed criminal damage.
“They are also there for people who get themselves isolated from their mates and find themselves in positions where others take advantage of them.”
Street Angels are based at Middlesbrough, Stockton, Guisborough and Hartlepool centres. Many work until the early hours, sometimes 3am or 4am.
Teesside University student Natalie Hepworth is a Boro Angel and volunteers one weekend each month.
She signed up after learning about the volunteer scheme at a careers fair at the start of her first year studying criminology.
“I’d just moved up here and I thought it was a nice local thing to do, and it teaches me about working with the police,” said the 19-year-old who is originally from Derby.
“It’s nice to help out and it’s not as bad as you might expect; most of the people are really cool and you get to know a lot of them.”