A YOUNG woman is working to keep the streets of Hereford safe as more cases of over drinking threaten the safety of young people.

Hayley Upperton, 18, has taken on a full-time internship with Vennture – the charity leading the street pastors who help to keep Hereford's nightlife safe.

Her passion to pursue a career in medicine led her to the role after she became involved with Lean on Me.

This is a team of sixth form students working alongside the street pastors.

They work from their centre in St Peter's House, in St Peters Square, where people go to be cared for if they are intoxicated or for a safe space.

"There is nothing as hands on as Lean on Me," said Miss Upperton.

Her role has seen her helping people who haven't realised how alcohol can affect their body differently.

Last weekend her team helped a young woman whose friends thought she had been spiked.

After a drug test they found this was not the case, but she was on prescribed medication, had missed breakfast, had not drunk for a couple of months, and drank too much too quickly.

This led her body to go into stress and react in an out-of-character manner.

The street pastors helped her get back to recover.

Vennture look at CCTV from around Hereford to spot vulnerable people.

Recently they spotted a woman on CCTV who was drunk and about to walk down a path into a potentially unsafe situation. But the street pastors helped her and got her home safe.

Miss Upperton does not think spiking is a huge problem in Hereford.

"People are quick to assume they have been spiked," she said.

But the team's specialised drug tests and care allow people to know if they have or haven't been spiked, which can provide reassurance.

The street pastors work to prevent bad situations from happening.

"They are very much needed in Hereford as there are always vulnerable people," said Miss Upperton.

"We lend a helping hand to emergency services and alleviate a lot of pressure from the NHS."

Working with Lean on Me has given her an inside experience.

"It's shown me a different perspective and opened my eyes to what Vennture do," said Miss Upperton.