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Unsung hero: Katie Beckett babysits drunk teenagers by night and toddlers by day
A volunteer and street pastor who looks after partygoers who are worse for wear at night and toddlers by day has been nominated as a Surrey Comet unsung hero.
Katie Beckett, 67, of Cumberland Road, Chessington, takes to the streets of Kingston town centre once a month to help young people after a night on the tiles.
She puts in a six-hour shift from 10pm to 4am, fuelled only by a break for tea and biscuits, and was among the first to be trained when the Street Pastors’ Kingston branch was set up eight years ago.
She said: “While I can I am enjoying it. I love meeting all the youngsters.
“It takes me a couple of days to recover afterwards. I was very apprehensive the first time I went out, but we have never had any problems.
“We are there to help the ones who are struggling.
“Sometimes the girls come out of the club and have lost their friends – occasionally we have to call mum and dad to come and collect them. Sometimes we meet some sober ones.
“We pick up empty bottles because they can be smashed and used as weapons.”
Ms Beckett also volunteers at Surbiton Community Church’s toddler group said she gets encouraging feedback from parents.
She said: “We had one mum say we were the best toddler group in the area.
“They are all very appreciative. Lots of them come with their friends, or meet people there and become friends, which is nice.”
She said her fellow street pastors could all be considered unsung heroes.
She said: “You make new friends all the time. I would say they all make a difference.
"They’re all willing to give up their time because they want to help the youngsters.”
Paul Jacobs, Kingston Street Pastors co-ordinator, said: “All through her life she has given out to other people and cared for them.”
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