NEW YEAR HONOURS: Medal for Chaplain who spends nights on Dundee’s streets helping the vulnerable

A Dundee chaplain who gives up his time to help those in need has been recognised in Queen’s New Year honours list.

Street chaplin Andrew Burns in the Seagate

Receiving a British Empire Medal is Rock Street Chaplains co-ordinator Andrew Burns.

Andrew, known as Andy, set up Rock Street in 1999 and, along with other chaplains, he goes out into the city each weekend to speak to those on a night out who may be vulnerable, as well as helping the homeless.

The chaplains can be out on the streets across the city centre from 10.45pm each night until as late as 3.30am.

Andy said: “We work at night. We get people into taxis. Some folk just need a chat. Folk sometimes ask us about God, so we do chat to them about religion. We try to be a friendly face on the street at night.”

For those seeking help and referral to other groups, Andy said the street chaplains are mainly the first point of contact.

Speaking about the award he said: “I got a letter about November. It was a big shock. I was delighted but shocked.

“The hardest thing has been keeping it quiet.

“My wife knew and my son and daughter knew but they were sworn to secrecy. They were shocked and pleased.

“We will probably go out for dinner as a family in the new year. The whole team will go out and celebrate.”

Andy added he couldn’t do it without the team.

“We have a big team – the amazing people that we work with – without them, I couldn’t have done it,” he said.

“It’s the guys and girls and the ladies that are really in the thick of things.

“This British Empire Medal is for them as much as for me.”

VIDEO: Group committed to helping people on the streets of Dundee