BIG-HEARTED volunteers who help reduce anti-social behaviour have received support from Cheshire’s police chief.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyerhas awarded £3,000 to Widnes Street Pastors.

The town’s 25 Christian churches have united to form teams who patrol the streets every Saturday, from 11pm to 4am, and look after people coming out of the pubs and clubs.

The volunteers have completed extensive training and work in teams of four, wearing distinctive polo shirts, jackets and caps.

John Dwyer said: "I’ve seen the valuable work street pastors do around the county. They help revellers who’ve had too much to drink, by offering them water to hydrate them. They even offer flip-flops to women, who’ve taken their killer heels off because their feet are sore, preventing them from getting hurt.

"Another advantage of street pastors is that they free up police officer time as well.

"During one shift with them, I observed as they assisted officers who had found a drunken reveller passed out in a doorway. The pastors stayed with this person till help arrived, freeing the officers up to deal with other issues that had arisen."

Raymond Roberts from Widnes Street Pastors said: "Widnes Street Pastors are very grateful to Police & Crime Commissioner John Dwyer for his kind donation.

“This money will enable us not only to continue our current work of helping vulnerable people late on a Saturday night in Widnes, but will also allow us to recruit and train new members to join our team."