Greater Manchester Police presented two Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital workers with an award. After they both helped a woman in distress while off duty.
In February both Mary-Kate and Irene were making their way home, having finished a day’s work at the children’s hospital. Mary-Kate Gilmartin, 36, from Higher Blackley works as a fundraising clerk. Irene White, 63, from Blackley, works as a nursing assistant.
Both ladies were in the Piccadilly area at around 5pm when they noticed a clearly distraught young woman acting erratically.
Concerned for her wellbeing, both Mary-Kate and Irene approached the woman. They quickly intervened when she stepped into the road and was narrowly missed by a number of oncoming vehicles, including a bus.
As Mary-Kate and Irene spoke to the woman in an attempt to calm her down. It became clear she had been drinking. After talking to her for some time, the woman said she had been raped. As one of the hospital workers continued to talk and reassure the woman, the other quietly rang the police.
When a police officer attended the scene the woman became extremely agitated once again. She wouldn’t engage with the officer at all because he was a man. At this point the lady attempted to head-butt the glass panel of a nearby bus stop. The officer had to restrain her for her own safety.
The officer decided that the best course of action would be to take the woman to Longsight Police Station. She would then be interviewed by a female C.I.D. officer and receive the appropriate assessment and support. The woman refused to cooperate unless both Mary-Kate and Irene accompanied them.
Mary-Kate and Irene decided to travel to the police station. They then stayed with the victim until she had been interviewed.
Irene said: “Both Mary-Kate and I knew we could not leave this distressed girl as she was clearly a danger to herself and for me, it was the right thing to do.
“Receiving the award came as a complete surprise and was totally unexpected. My family are very proud of me.”
Mary-Kate added: “It was an honour to receive the award and I hope it helps people realise that there are plenty of people out there who are willing to help others and not turn a blind eye. I just hope that if it was myself or any of my friends or family in that situation, that someone would help them.”