Volunteers of the Hartlepool Town Pastors have been looking after people on the town on a Saturday night for eight years by providing first aid, flip flops, lollipops and a listening ear.
Four of the valued volunteers, known as ‘street angels’ who are stepping down from frontline duties have been honoured by the Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Allan Barclay.
Coun Barclay invited them into his parlour where he read out citations and presented them with certificates and gifts.
They included Drew Mills, Lisa Barwick and Karen Milner, who have all been involved since the initiative started in May 2011 and will continue in support roles.
Steve Brock, who helped launch the project and managed the Stockton Town Pastors, was also honoured.
Coun Barclay said: “They add something special to our night-time economy, contributing to a safer Hartlepool at weekends, and so helping all kinds of people get home safely.
“We would like to thank them for the hours they have put in without thought of reward of any kind except the satisfaction of helping other people.
“It gives me great pleasure to recognise and applaud the work that has been done and continues to be done in our town.”
The pastors, made up of around a dozen volunteers, work until 3am and 4am every Saturday night between Church Square and York Road.
Karen said the role varies from helping people with suicidal thoughts and giving first aid to being very humorous.
“I get to come out on a Saturday night and have a great time and it costs me nothing except a bit of my time,” she said.
“I’ve got friendships now I would never have made.”
Lisa, who is part of Reach Out Ministries in Whitby Street, where the pastors operate from, said: “You go home with the satisfaction that you have been able to help somebody or get them home safely or give a friendly smile.”
Drew, 73, added: “We talk to people about their problems and they are always thankful for it.”
The pastors are always looking for more volunteers.
Find out more and contact them through Hartlepool Town Pastors on Facebook.