More street angels needed to help keep drinkers safe in South Shields

STREET ANGELS ... South Shields Town Centre Friday night. From left, Pauline Bittlestone, Margaret Foster, John Patterson, Carole Prince and Gazette Reporter Lisa Nightingale.'' left Pauline Bittlestone and Margaret Foster.
STREET ANGELS ... South Shields Town Centre Friday night. From left, Pauline Bittlestone, Margaret Foster, John Patterson, Carole Prince and Gazette Reporter Lisa Nightingale.'' left Pauline Bittlestone and Margaret Foster.

A call has gone out for people to earn their wings by becoming a street angel and helping to keep revellers safe in South Tyneside.

The team of volunteers has been providing a shoulder to cry on and first aid and help for those a little worse for wear every weekend for the last three years.

STREET ANGELS ... South Shields Town Centre Friday night. From left, Pauline Bittlestone, Margaret Foster, John Patterson, Carole Prince and Gazette Reporter Lisa Nightingale.

STREET ANGELS ... South Shields Town Centre Friday night. From left, Pauline Bittlestone, Margaret Foster, John Patterson, Carole Prince and Gazette Reporter Lisa Nightingale.

However, over time numbers have dwindled and they are in need of a new generation of angels who will fly to the rescue of those enjoying a night out in South Shields.

June Valente, group co-ordinator, said: “We know what we do makes a difference and because of this, it is rewarding.

“We always get a great reception from the those out socialising, the taxi drivers, police and door staff.

“There is many a time we have been called ‘legends’ and people have been genuinely grateful for the help and support we have given them on a night out.”

There is many a time we have been called ‘legends’.

June Valente

Street Angels go out in teams of three and are supported by the police. They are equipped with radios and are in regular contact with the CCTV control room.

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt said: “Street Angels carry out an important role in the town centre and the volunteers make a real impact providing support and assistance to those who may need it.”

Team members are asked to commit to at least one shift per month with hours starting at 10pm and finishing at 3am. Street Angels must be over the age of 18 and new recruits are given full training.

Mrs Valente added: “If you have a caring heart and are a good listener then this could be the ideal volunteering opportunity for you.

“There is no upper age limit. However street angels should have a reasonable level of fitness, as a shift can involve a lot of walking, standing and possibly kneeling down attending to those who are injured.”

An event will be held where those interesting in becoming a street angel can find out more.

It will take place at The Church Centre, 1 Broughton Road, on Thursday, October 22 at 6.30pm.

For more details, call June on 07973 470 212 contact jav34s@outlook.com