LIFE-SAVING volunteers have been given charity status to allow them to continue their vital work.

The Brighton Beach Patrol group has been out on duty on the beach every night for the past five years, saving countless lives.

Volunteers often provide support for revellers who have had too much to drink, or those who are distressed with mental health problems.

They focus on the area between Brighton Pier and West Street on the beach, between 11pm and 5am.

The group was established with funds from Resolve Security managing director Kevin Roberts, whose bouncers could see the risks at beachfront venues and late-night drinking.

He funded the cost of a quadbike that allows volunteers to quickly intervene and stop people getting into danger.

Meanwhile Brighton Beach Patrol manager Louise Roberts has been involved in the project from the start, having worked for Shoreham Coastguard and finding she was arriving too late to help.

She said: “It has taken five years to build the trust and work with the police, the council, and other agencies.

“We know how much of a difference we have made. There was one night where the quadbike was out of action, and we learned a man had drowned, and we were devastated.

“It was the first time someone had lost their life on the beach there in about three years, it made us realise we are making a huge difference.

“We have the experience now to see when someone is not quite right, we see them at the crossroads and sit with them, getting them the help they need.”

One big fear is how people be drunk and then drown in the sea, but the volunteers also help provide security in a dark area of the beach where people can be vulnerable.

Louise said the volunteers are now working on launching a website and sorting bank account details.

One aim for the charity will be to provide a second quadbike which can be used on the other side of the pier to reach more people in danger quickly.

The team carries equipment such as first aid kits and defibrillators, so they are ready for any emergency. They will soon look to do a launch event for the charity, and say they have already had interest from businesses including from Brighton Palace Pier.

Louise added: “Gaining charitable status is great for the future, it has been holding us back in terms of the funds we can raise.

Anyone who is interested in donating or finding out more about Brighton Beach can email