South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has given her backing to a group of volunteers who help keep revellers in the town safe.
Mrs Lewell-Buck joined the South Tyneside Street Angels on Saturday night as they patrolled the streets of South Shields.
The voluntary organisation, led by June Valente, works with Northumbria Police, the ambulance service and door security staff on Saturday nights. Volunteers help a variety of people, including rough sleepers, the vulnerable and those who are unwell or need support.
They carry first aid kits, foil blankets, flip flops and water, and were helped by Mrs Lewell-Buck on their latest shift, which started at 10pm and ended at about 3am. The Street Angels helped a number of people during that time, with first aid treatment administered and support offered to those looking to get home.
Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “Firstly, I would like to offer my thanks to June and her team for making me feel so welcome. “South Tyneside Street Angels are a marvellous organisation that plugs a much-needed gap on the streets of Shields. “I haven’t been out that late in the town centre for quite some time and it was a real eye-opener.
“However, knowing the Street Angels are there to do everything from clearing potentially-dangerous discarded bottles to giving first aid and supporting those who may be slightly worse for wear, is a real comfort.
“I felt a real sense of camaraderie with police, ambulance staff and door security staff, all acknowledging the Street Angels and thanking us for what we did.
“I would encourage anyone who is interested to contact June and volunteer.”
Street Angels co-ordinator June Valente said: “It was great to meet Emma and have her join us on Saturday night to show her how we work and what we do.
“Emma was very interested in what she saw and experienced during her time with us. She is obviously a caring, very hands-on person and was keen to find out what happens in our town centre late Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Thank you for your support and we hope you will join us again in the future.”
The Street Angels welcome new volunteers. Anyone over the age of 18 with a reasonable level of fitness can sign up, with full training provided.
Team members are asked to commit to at least one shift per month. For more details, contact South Tyneside Street Angels co-ordinator June Valente on email@example.com. The Street Angels were established in 2012.