Extract from the Basingstoke Observer, written by Owen Hughes.

Basingstoke volunteers were honoured by the High Sheriff of Hampshire last week at a community awards ceremony.

Basingstoke Street Pastors were presented with the award in recognition of their contribution to the community during the High Sheriff Awards at the Great Hall in Winchester on March 14.

The High Sheriff of Hampshire, Mary Montagu-Scott, commended the 16 recipients of the award for their great work in the county.

She said: “The awards ceremony was an extremely inspiring occasion and I am delighted to recognise the meaningful work that these unsung heroes carry out to keep our communities safe and thriving.

“During my year in office I have seen first-hand the outstanding work carried out across the county to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our area, which is truly commendable.”

The Basingstoke Street Pastors patrol Basingstoke’s nightlife venues every Friday and Saturday from around 10.30pm until 4am.

The brave volunteers carry pockets full of lollipops and hand out free flip-flops to high-heeled revellers who might appreciate a change of footwear before embarking on their journey home.

The group also offer a ‘safe hub’ for those needing support.

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) works in partnership with the High Sheriff of Hampshire to administer the awards.

Chair of HIWCF Jonathan Cheshire said: “HIWCF are delighted to support the High Sheriff Awards which uphold the values and work that the Foundation implements at grassroots level across our communities.

“We congratulate each of the recipients for their contribution to society; and for their hard work and dedication in making Hampshire a better and safer place to live.”

As part of their role, the Sheriff grants awards to volunteers within the community and organisations from the voluntary sector, who are deserving of special recognition for their good work.