Former paramedic helping late-night revellers in Bundy
YOU stumble out of the Cenny in the wee hours of the morning, having consumed one more gin and tonic than you probably should have.
Your head is throbbing, your hands are clammy.
You've lost your phone, your friends and you're all alone.
Enter Gayle Anderson - Safe Nite Out co-ordinator.
You may not recognise the name but if you've been out in the Bundaberg CBD on a Friday or Saturday night you'll have spotted her bright blue T-shirt acting as a beacon of hope to many a weary reveller.
Like angels in the dark, Ms Anderson and her four-person team and two volunteers patrol the Bundaberg Safe Night Precinct helping the helpless.
You can usually find the group at the corner of Targo and Woongarra streets between 11.30pm and 3.30am as party-goers make that infamous, sometimes lonely, trek to Sunshine Kebabs and McDonald's for a much-needed refuel.
For Ms Anderson, a former paramedic and now second-year nurse, the work offers her the opportunity to give back to the community.
"I love it," she said.
"I want to help people."
The group has its rest and recovery area at the McDonald's carpark and occasionally has a marquee.
"It's a place for people to come if they are feeling unwell, need a timeout or need to sober up before going to the taxi rank," Ms Anderson said.
"We work with the taxi marshall, who does a fantastic job."
Ms Anderson said her primary job was to help people get home safely once they had left the confines of the bars and clubs, and could sometimes be as a simple as offering a bottle of water or having a chat about a relationship break-up.
"We generally get a sense if something is wrong and start off with a chat," she said.
"You'd be surprised how many people share details about their personal lives."
From dog bites to wardrobe malfunctions, Ms Anderson has seen it all since she started in the role in October last year.
"I've had a mum and dad pick up their daughter at a party and just drive by our marquee and say 'hey, can you come and speak to our daughter? She's been out drinking for the first time'," she said.
Ms Anderson said her team was not there to do the work of police or paramedics.
"We stay away from confrontational incidents," she said.
Ms Anderson said the support of venues and nearby businesses such as IGA Supa at Woongarra St and McDonald's made their jobs easier.
The group is looking for more volunteers.
You need a driver's licence, senior first aid certificate and a blue card.
If you're interested, phone 1300 040 567.