A team of trained volunteers will take to the streets of Darlington this weekend to offer help and support to people on a night out.

The Street Friends will be out on Saturday between 9pm and 3am in the town centre to help and reassure anyone who feels vulnerable.

They will be able to offer first aid and direct people to Number Forty on Skinnergate where volunteers and trained security staff can help with everything from charging phones and handing out water to calling loved ones and helping report a crime.

The volunteers will have radios connecting them to the CCTV Control Room, Number Forty as well as security staff at other town centre venues.

The Northern Echo: Streetfriends to patrol Darlington. Picture: Darlington Borough CouncilStreetfriends to patrol Darlington. Picture: Darlington Borough Council (Image: Darlington Borough Council)

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They will be wearing high vis jackets with the Number Forty phone number on the back and will be handing out cards so people have Number Forty’s contact details if and when they need them.

The Street Friends hope to be out twice a month on a Friday and Saturday night until they get more volunteers signed up.

The Street Friends is supported by the Darlington Safer Streets partnership, which includes Darlington Council, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner and Durham Constabulary.

It aims to increase safety and the feeling of safety, particularly among women and girls in the town centre.

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Chris Knox, the council’s community safety programme manager, said: “Since it opened, Number Forty has been a great success and I am delighted we can now expand its work on the streets.

“The Street Friends will be a reassuring presence around the town centre as well as being able to offer practical support to anyone in need of help.

“As they will be out and about they will be able to spot people who may be vulnerable and, where appropriate, be able to help.

“We expect the town to be busy this weekend with the Eurovision Song Contest being live streamed in the Market Place so it seemed the perfect time to launch the Street Friends.”

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Inspector Jim O’Connor, from Darlington Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “Number Forty is just one of the many ways in which we are helping to make Darlington as safe as possible for everyone, particularly women and girls.

“The Street Friends initiative is a fantastic addition to our ongoing commitment and it will be great to see the volunteers become a valued part of nightlife in Darlington - I’ve no doubt they will be relied upon by people on a night out and become an integral part in making the town safe.”

Safer Streets is a UK-wide Government initiative that has seen County Durham and Darlington receive over £ 1.5m over the last 18 months to make the region safer through a variety of projects.