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Student is recognised by Force for work on project which helps vulnerable students on nights out

November 7, 2017
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The founder of Nottingham Night Owls, a student-led project which provides care for vulnerable students on nights out and helps them to get home safely, received a Chief Constable's Commendation at Thursday night's (2 November 2017) Nottinghamshire Police Awards. 

Maddy Ellis, a full-time student at the University of Nottingham, was recognised for establishing the system of patrols 'by students for students' on nights out in town at the annual awards ceremony sponsored by Nottingham Trent University, the Nottinghamshire Police Federation and Mazars. 

The project works in a similar fashion to the Street Pastors. Volunteers patrol the city and interact with students, helping those who are in need through drink or other vulnerability and making sure they get home safely. This can involve walking home with them or putting them into taxis.

Nottingham Night Owls volunteers also carry backpacks full of useful supplies such as first aid equipment and bottles of water and food to help students in need during their patrols every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday night. 

Furthermore, Maddy has established safety policies for her volunteers such as carrying specific mobile phones, calling into headquarters (which is Maddy's front room!) regularly as a welfare check, and even first aid and self-defence training. 

Inspector Ruby Burrow, who nominated Maddy for her commendation, said: "We, the City Centre Police, feel that this project has been a real success story and it owes its success to Maddy who has overcome multiple boundaries, often simply by way of her own perseverance and tenacity.

"This is a woman who really deserves the highest recognition that we can give her for the way in which she has worked to ensure the safety of other young people in Nottingham."

Reflecting on her award Maddy said: "I am extremely grateful and moved to be even considered for this award.

"Working on this project has meant a lot to me and wouldn't have been possible without the support and participation of so many different people.

"I’d like to thank everyone who has supported Nottingham Night Owls in any way, from volunteering and donating to supporting us in the running and decision-making of the project."

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