Lord Mayor of Bradford takes walk-about with Street Angels to see care given to revellers in distress
BRADFORD's Lord Mayor went walking with Street Angels over the weekend to see for himself the caring help they give to late night revellers in distress.
Cllr Mike Gibbons went on patrol with a team of the hi-viz volunteers who have been offering support on the city's streets for six years and paid tribute to their work.
"By putting themselves out on the streets, I think they're incredibly brave at times," Cllr Gibbons said.
"They are going into situations purely to help and that's done with a great selflessness.
"These volunteers are literally putting other people first.
"People of all ages are helping, but they do need more recruits and I would urge anyone with that same selfless motivation to come forward and get in touch with the Street Angels."
Cllr Gibbons joined a group of Street Angels led by the organisation's chairman Paul Sunderland which left City Hall at 9.15pm for an hour and a half's walk around centre pubs, clubs and precincts.
"It was a relatively quiet night because of the time of year and the fact it was wet and cold, however right at the end of our patrol we did see a drunk person lying in the street who was cared for by another team," Cllr Gibbons said.
"I don't think night-time problems have really increased over the years, but what the Street Angels do is work alongside police and paramedics to offer real comfort to people in distress.
"It was a great privilege to be out with the Street Angels, they are doing a fabulous job," Cllr Gibbons said.
Mr Sunderland said he and volunteers Rachel Pollard and Elanor Matthys had taken the Mayor around part of their city centre beat.
"It was a quiet night - which is always a good thing and Cllr Gibbons was very keen to see what we do as he's clearly passionate about Bradford and its people.
"When it's quiet we can go and check for people in areas away from the usual hotspots, although we have a set patrol area which is all covered by CCTV for our own safety," Mr Sunderland said.
Although set up by Bradford churches, Street Angels now has a mix of faiths among it's volunteers including Muslims and other religions.
"That's a perfect mix for Bradford - it's not about preaching to people, it's about helping in a common sense way," Mr Sunderland said.