A GROUP of volunteers who have been walking the streets of Skipton and helping people feel safe at weekends for over 13 years is disbanding.

Skipton Street Angels was formed in March 2009 through Churches Together in Skipton and District and have, apart from during Covid, invested around 2,500 volunteer hours each year.

The work of the group has been recognised by the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire who presented them with a Commendation Award. The Street Angels have also been on the receiving end of Craven community awards, both as a group and individually for services to the community.

Group member Michael Perry said it was a sad decision to stop but Covid had stopped the group’s momentum and many had decided it was time for them to step down.

“We have provided a good service each weekend for many years apart from the past two years when Covid struck and lockdowns closed down the town and prevented many people from going out. But we are all getting older now. We’re between 50 and 75 years of age and for some of us it is proving difficult though we have all enjoyed being a part of the group.

“We have the jackets and equipment if anyone wants to form another group at some time in the future.”

Mr Perry said the Street Angels numbered around 20 at one time and would go out in two groups of three on Saturday nights.

One of the volunteers was the late Cllr Alan Hickman.

Skipton mayor Cllr Karen McIntyre said it was sad news the group was folding.

She said: “I want to thank them all for all the work they have done over the years to keep people safe in the town in all weathers. It has been very much appreciated and a huge service carried out by volunteers. Hopefully another group may form in the future.”