Charity in appeal for volunteers to help homeless

Volunteers are being sought to give a bed to a homeless young person this winter.

Monday, 21st January 2019, 10:46 am
Updated Monday, 21st January 2019, 10:50 am
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Nightstop services, supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery, offers young people and vulnerable adults a bed for the night in the homes of trained and vetted volunteers.

Elisabeth Bryant, who hosts young people in the north east, said: “We host for Nightstop because it is something simple we can do to prevent someone spending a night on the street or in insecure housing.

“If one of our children was in a strange town and down on their luck, I would hope that there was a Nightstop host there as well.

“When talking to other people about becoming hosts, I explain the ordinariness of it – just a friend offering a supper and a bed, but knowing that there was a skilled and sound support network behind you.”

Nicola Harwood, head of Nightstop, said: “The work that we do at Nightstop to support young people experiencing homelessness is powered by the generosity of our volunteers.

“As the need for our services continues to grow, particularly over the winter, we are looking for people to provide a safe night’s sleep for those in need.

“Though letting someone into your home may seem a daunting prospect, at Nightstop we ensure that background checks and risk assessments are carried out.”

For more about Nightstop North East and Cumbria, run by Depaul charity, email NightstopNE@depaulcharity.org.uk

More than half of the young people who use Nightstop become homeless due to relationship breakdown.

By offering short-term accommodation, volunteers can give people experiencing or at risk of homelessness the breathing space they need to get back on their feet. Staff at the service also help people find other useful services and permanent accommodation.

More than 30 Nightstop services are running around the UK, from Devon to Edinburgh, and in 2017 volunteers provided more than 11,070 bed-nights.

Thorough checks are carried out on both volunteer hosts and young people using the service, who are helped to move onto safe, permanent accommodation by Nightstop staff.