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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.

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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.

Council's new Christmas tree criticised

A Christmas tree in the middle of Stockton has drawn huge criticism from people living in the area.

The 20ft tree was erected in Stockton last week and has been called a 'disgrace' and an 'embarrassment' by locals.

A Stockton Council spokesman said: "We're in the middle of a multi-million pound redevelopment of the High Street.

"The central and northern sections are quite literally a building site, so there's no room for our normal 40ft high Spruce, which will be back next year.

"In the interim, we've used the 20ft cone with illuminated snowflake designs rather than leave this part of the High Street bare.

"We're pleased to report that that extensive works have not put visitors off as thousands of spectators attended last week's launch of the Stockton Sparkles festival which was led by 1,500 children.

"We know that a traditional Christmas tree always makes a great centrepiece but there's so much more going on in Stockton throughout the Chrismas period including our 12-day Christmas market, ice sculpture, late-night shopping and street theatre with dance and musical performances.

"We would ask that our public bear with us this year and look forward to a traditional Christmas tree returning to a new-look Stockton High Street next year - we're sure it'll be worth the wait.

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