Volunteer praised for sharing her home

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A VOLUNTEER for a charity project offering young people a place to stay for the night has been praised for her work.

Hazel Howlitson, of Whitley Bay, is one of 30 volunteer hosts for Depaul UK’s Nightstop project based in the town.

They provide a safe place to stay in their own homes for young people facing a housing crisis.

Project worker Liz Fry said: “Hazel is a brilliant host. She has brought up her own children and now often looks after her grandchildren.

“She shows empathy to the young people who we place with her, and they enjoy staying there.

“They often tell us how much they enjoy Hazel’s cooking and talking to her through the evening.”

Hazel added: “Some family and friends were concerned about me becoming a host, but I haven’t regretted it at all.

“I really enjoy meeting the young people and giving them a safe place to stay, and it’s good when you feel you’re getting somewhere with them.”

After handing her his commendation award, North Tyneside Council chairman Frank Lott told her that he admired her for opening her home to strangers in need.

The council chairman’s commendation awards are given out to recognise those who give time and effort unselfishly to others in the borough.

To find out more about becoming a Nightstop volunteer, visit www.depaulnightstopuk.org/ or call (0191) 253 6171.