A POPULAR kind-hearted volunteers group are receiving praise from women they are helping on trams in their latest project.

In November, Oldham Street Angels teamed up with the council to launch its Trusted People scheme to help make women feel safer on the Metrolink network.

Volunteers from the Angels and officers from the council's youth service visit tram stops in the borough and offer help to anyone, especially if they are feeling uneasy amid the dark winter evenings.

One occasion where a woman might feel uncomfortable is when a man has approached to talk but she does not want to engage in a conversation with him.

The Home Office-funded project has been warmly welcomed by those who have been helped by the team members, who wear bright orange jackets and have the Angels wing logo on with the message "We're there because we care".

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, The Reverend Canon Jean Hurlston, who founded the Angels, said the scheme gives a "reassuring presence" to women and girls who may be getting a tram after going to college or work.

Older women, some who feel anxious about using the network, have also welcomed the project.

She said: "We're not the police, we're just people from the community.

"We stand beside people on the tram stop and keep them company.

"More than once we've seen a young woman whose approached by a fellow and we move across just to see how they are.

"A couple of times someone has said 'I'm so glad you was there, he was a creep'.

The Angels are also mindful of not interfering in certain instances in case they prevent the beginning of a romantic relationship.

The scheme comes after the organisation celebrated 10 years of supporting people in Oldham, such as helping to make sure people get home after a night out or providing assistance to rough sleepers.

Reverend Canon Hurlston added: "People often think if it's volunteers that are organising key services, then they don't really have sustainability.

"But our projects certainly can tell you (we have).

"If we're doing great work and it's appreciated, it's got longevity.

"We do keep reinventing ourselves, we listen to what is needed.

"We started off supporting people visiting pubs and clubs, we still do that.

"During the lockdown we couldn't because they were closed so we continued to support the people who were rough sleeping."