A community group which helps people enjoying a night out stay safe has received a welcome funding boost from Father Christmas himself.
Hartlepool Town Pastors, who organise weekend patrols of their volunteer Street Angels, were presented with £300 from Peter Richardson, Worshipful Master of the Harbour of Refuge Lodge 764 of Hartlepool Freemasons.
Peter, who has played Father Christmas for 20 years, donned his Santa suit again last year for groups that support people in Hartlepool.
He chose Hartlepool Town Pastors as one of three local good causes to benefit and comes as they start a recruitment drive to find more volunteers.
The pastors’ Street Angels patrol the town centre on a Saturday night to look after revellers, including seeing they can get home safely.
Peter said: “I’ve found even small amounts can make a big difference to charities like the street angels.
“People started offering us donations to help others. That’s part of the Santa tradition – and it just grew from there.
He added: “It’s been great to meet some of the street angels and I really hope their recruitment drive succeeds.”
Peter also gave £300 to Citizens Advice in Hartlepool, and £200 to TLC Teddies.
The Street Angels hope to increase their activities after the pandemic resulted in the town centre being quieter for the last two years.
They patrol Church Street and the York Road-Victoria Road area of the town’s nightlife every Saturday from 11pm-4am.
Chairman Terry Hegarty said: “The money will go to help the publicity and contact work needed to find the right blend of women and men to join our team of volunteers.
"They learn to speak to people, out for a night enjoying themselves, who suddenly find they need some help.
“To have Peter Richardson and his colleagues step up to recognise that work and offer a substantial donation to help us is a great boost and perfect for the longer summer nights ahead.”
The Street Angels are assisted by door staff, the emergency services, Hartlepool Borough Council, Reach Out Ministries in Whitby Street, Poolie Time Exchange who provide a rest room, and Lilyanne’s café who provide refreshments into the early hours.
ROC Angels News
This blog is a place for stories and news updates from within the ROC Angels family.