Devon's street pastors have been praised for their efforts in keeping town centres safe at night.
The volunteers, who aim to protect late-night revellers on the streets, were given the Devon Community Foundation's (DCF) Thriving Communities Award for their work. In partnership with the police, volunteers from churches patrol the streets offering help and support to late night club-goers and others in the town centre at weekends.
They are equipped with bags containing flip-flops, water bottles, first aid kits, blankets and other items, which are distributed free of charge. Martha Wilkinson, DCF chief executive, said: "For this award we were looking for a group or organisation that embodied volunteers extending a helping hand to vulnerable people, and making a real difference to the quality of life where they work. The street pastors do this throughout our Devon communities. They help to keep our streets a safer, supportive and less lonely place to be and it has been amazing to watch the outstanding difference they have made."
More than 600 volunteers worked across 21 locations in Devon and Cornwall. Roy Beaumont, Plymouth Street Pastors, said: "I am proud to work alongside such a wide variety of men and women who come together with only one purpose in mind – to serve the town or city where they live – and so often at their own inconvenience."