The Sunderland street pastors

They give up their Saturday nights so that you can enjoy yours. The Sunderland street pastor team helps those who 'over-do' a night out.

Catholic Christmas Services

Church services going on in the region on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. Have we missed your church? Email the details to pam&ian@itv.com

Live updates

Full report: Street pastors help revellers in Sunderland

The run-up to Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for bars and pubs in the North East, as well as for those looking out for the people who drink in them.

Last night, we reported on the work police are doing in Newcastle. Tonight we follow a group of volunteers in Sunderland who patrol the city's streets until 4am: handing out water, blankets and even flips flops.

The street pastors work with a mobile treatment unit, taking the pressure off the ambulances and A&Es.

Katie Oakes reports.

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Sunderland street pastors help party-goers

Street pastors checking on party go-ers on Sunderland Credit: ITV

Sunderland's Street pastors are volunteers who patrol the busiest areas in the city, trying to make sure everyone gets home safely. The hand out bottled water and organise taxis when people are struggling to get home.

The Sunderland street team Credit: ITV

The facility, run by St John's Ambulance and Sunderland City Council, is the first point of call for medical treatment, taking the pressure off paramedics and A&Es.

A treatment centre is also there to help those in need Credit: ITV

Here's to you, Merry Christmas

Love them or hate them, there is no way of escaping those Christmas songs that follow us round from shop to pub to radio station.

This year, two of the most famous songs turn 40 years old, and one of them has special significance this Christmas.

ITV News correspondent Andy Bevan has been chatting to the men behind the music.

Keeping Christmas party-goers safe in Newcastle

The nightlife in Newcastle draws tourists from all over the country to its bars and clubs.

Keeping people safe while they're here is the main priority of a huge policing operation.

And it's what's going on behind the scenes, before the bars have even opened, that is making a difference.

As the city gears up for the Christmas party rush, Katie Oakes joined officers on patrol.

Charity Elf Run at Northumberlandia

Elf Run participants at Northumberlandia. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
Hundreds of people dressed up as Christmas elves for the event. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Hundreds of volunteers dressed as elves took part in a charity event at Northumberlandia today. The Elf Run wasraising money for the Cash for Kids charity. Their Mission Christmas campaign aims to help children living in poverty in the region.

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