Hull Street Angels Trinity, which operates in Old Town, is seeking new volunteers. Chief Reporter Kevin Shoesmith speaks to one volunteer about the job.
SHE hits the town every Friday and rarely gets in much earlier than 3am – not bad for a great-grandmother.
By day, Christine Mobbs is a credit controller for Hull company Good Travel Management.
However, at night, when the streets are full with revellers in high spirits, Christine is all smiles and in among them.
For more than a year, Christine has spent her Friday nights touring the Old Town.
But her high-visibility jacket displaying the logo of Hull Street Angels Trinity marks her out a helper, not a reveller.
"I find it really fulfilling and extremely rewarding," says Christine.
It was not too long ago that a senior Hull judge said he wouldn't dare walk through the city centre at night.
But Christine takes life as a Street Angel volunteer all in her stride.
"I can honestly say I have never felt unsafe," she says.
"You always patrol with at least one other person and you carry a radio that is linked to Civic One."
Civic One is Hull City Council's CCTV nerve centre.
"If you ever feel vulnerable, all you have to do is radio Civic One and they'll immediately put a camera on you," says Christine.
Christine's organisation is on a recruitment drive, hoping, eventually, to be able to branch out from the city's Old Town.
So what does a Street Angel do?
"We are there to help people," says Christine. "We are not there to judge.
"If we spot someone who has drunk too much, we will offer them water.
"If they have lost their friends, we will help him or her find them.
"What we will never do is leave them.
"If you've drunk too much, you can be very vulnerable.
"If they have money on them and we are confident they will not be sick, we will call one of the taxi firms we have a very good relationship with.
"Often, this firm will give us priority because they respect the work we do."
Christine and her team will also, if needs be, ring a young person's parents.
"I've rung people's mums and dads before asking if they would pick up their son or daughter," she says.
"You'd think they would be mad but they're always appreciative of the fact we've found them and they're safe."
Like all volunteers, Christine has received first-aid and conflict management training to help defuse possible scenarios.
"It is not our job to get involved," she says. "If someone is being aggressive, they clearly do not want your help."
Often, though, as Christine is at pains to stress, Street Angels encounter grateful revellers.
"One 18-year-old lad came running up to me one night and thanked me for helping him a few weeks earlier," she says.
"He's been out celebrating a birthday and drunk too much. We'd found him and rung his mum, who came out and collected him."
Old Town has a lot of cobbles," she says. "We often see girls carrying their three-inch heels.
"We'll offer them a pair of plastic sandals. It prevents broken toes and ankles and that, of course, frees up the doctors' time at Hull Royal Infirmary."
So what drives a woman with two children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, to head out, in all weathers, to help strangers?
"I wanted to give something back to society," says Christine.
"I was married. I lost my husband three years ago after a long illness.
"People were wonderful to me and helped me so much. I wanted to give something.
"I am a keen walker and I am never cold – we've all got high-visibility, waterproof clothing."
Christine is often passing on advice to her grandchildren, who range in age from 14 to 23.
"They love to go out partying, just as I did when I was their age," she says.
"But I am always reminding the girls to be on their guard against drink spiking.
"I'll tell them, if you leave the bar to have a dance, either finish your drink before you go, or buy another. Never leave your drink unattended."
Christine appears every bit the laid-back sort but even she admits to having been shocked by the rise in the use of so-called legal highs.
"As part of the training, we go to a police station and have a really useful talk on substance misuse," she says.
"Well, I must have been living in a bubble, because I'd never even heard half of the drugs' names, like M-cat, that are popular.
"One night, I encountered a homeless lady who had taken this stuff. She was in a pretty bad way."
Christine insists the city centre, including the Old Town, is a safe, pleasant place to enjoy a night out.
She says: "The vast majority of people are happy drunks, as I call them.
"It's only a few, a very small minority, who can not handle their alcohol and turn nasty."
And in case you're wondering, Christine insists she never judges.
"We've all been there at some point in our lives," she says, laughing.
Anyone interested in become a volunteer member of Hull Street Angels Trinity should visit www.hullstreetangelstrinity.org.uk/ volunteers to download an application pack.
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07580 032779 or further information.
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