FLIP flops, water and lollipops have proved hugely successful for a team of street pastors who are determined to ensure revellers enjoy a trouble free night out.

The award winning street angels have helped look after more than 1,000 weekend drinkers in Hartlepool since the scheme was launched in April last year.

The Hartlepool Street Pastors, who are funded by Hartlepool Housing, patrol the Victoria Road and Church Street areas of the town each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, offering help and support to those who are in need.

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The 18-strong team of volunteers, mainly from local churches, are kitted with backpacks, including flip flops to give to the foot-sore whose heels have got the better of them, water and lollipops for the dehydrated and equipment to help clear up discarded drinks bottles to prevent them from being used as weapons.

Under the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, the project involves support from Elim Living Waters Christian Fellowship, Housing Hartlepool, which is a part of the Vela Group, and various other agencies and churches across Hartlepool.

Karen Milner, of Hope Church Hartlepool, said: “As a Street Pastor, I work most Saturday nights ensuring that everyone is safe and gets home safely.

"I've been part of the team since day one and still enjoy it - we have a great rapport with revellers, door staff, police and everybody out there.”

So far the team have been awarded two community awards from the Police Commissioner and Police Constable for their contribution and achievement in the area.

Anyone over the age of 18, who is interested in becoming a street pastor can contact (CORR) Drew Mills by e-mailing andrew.mills@virginmedia.com or calling 01429-296819 or 07776-378934.