Bradford’s Street Angels were honoured at a civic reception in the city last night.
The Angels – who voluntarily help to keep people safe in Bradford city centre on Friday and Saturday nights – were all presented with a certificate thanking them for their hard work over the years.
There was also a special accolade for Louise Foster, who has been an Angel since the group was founded seven years ago. She was presented with a District Chief Superintendent’s Commendation from West Yorkshire Police in recognition of the work she has done with the Street Angels.
Louise, 52, of Wibsey, who is retiring from the Angels, said: “I really appreciate it, and I certainly enjoyed very much being a Street Angel.”
She was one of 20 Angels among the guests at City Hall last night. Made up of retired people, students and workers, the Angels patrol Bradford city centre on Friday and Saturday nights.
Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Joanne Dodds, who is a Street Angel herself, said: “As a fellow Street Angel, I thought it was a great opportunity for me to bring you here and thank you all for what you do in the city centre on Friday and Saturday nights.
“I am proud to be an Angel.”
She added: “Sometimes there is still the perception that Street Angels just look after those that are out drinking. But it is far wider than that. It’s that visible presence for people visiting the city for whatever reason, or passing through. It is about feeling safe.”
The Street Angels in attendance were: Jamie Boyle, Dina Plowes, Steve Wood, Michaela Gautier, Graham Glover, Brian Horsfall, Thelma Horsfall, Louise Foster, Linda Gautier, Samer Daoud, Stephen Williams, Shirley Crowther, Paul Dyson, John Dinsdale, Adam Deacon, Mitch Long, Kate Williams, Matthew Wong, Hannah Spencer and Paul Sunderland.
Some told of their varying experiences on Bradford’s streets – including helping people who have had too much to drink, assisting pensioners who are confused about where they are, helping young girls who have missed the last bus after being at the cinema, or standing with people at a bus stop as they head home late at night.
Chief Inspector Damian Miller, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Thank you for the hard work you do. West Yorkshire Police view you as part of our extended family.”