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Two years of Nightstop South Yorkshire
June 4th, 2018
Nightstop South Yorkshire has saved almost 60 young people from sleeping rough or in other unsafe locations since 2016 by placing them in the homes of compassionate volunteers.
Since its launch in spring 2016, Nightstop South Yorkshire has provided almost 300 nights of accommodation in the homes of volunteer hosts. The service – which is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery – is part of the Nightstop UK network which offers young people with nowhere else to go a safe night’s sleep in a volunteer’s home.
Nightstop South Yorkshire now has 24 volunteer hosts, who offer their spare room for a few nights a month to vulnerable young people. When a young person finds themselves with nowhere to sleep that night, Nightstop provides emergency accommodation and helps them to find long-term housing.
Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, said: “I was delighted to attend the launch of Nightstop two years ago and I’m amazed by the generosity of the volunteer hosts who’ve been working with them since. They’ve helped change dozens of young people’s lives and we should definitely celebrate their continued success.”
Sheffield resident and Nightstop host Sally Faulkes said: “I jumped at the chance to be a Nightstop host as it means that I can offer something which I know is valuable to young people who are at a crisis point in their lives. I have grown-up children of my own who have a big supportive family around them, but not everyone is that lucky.”
Recent research by Nightstop UK found that more than 95 percent of young people who used the service felt that it had improved their personal safety.
Nightstop South Yorkshire Manager Amy Smith said: “Most of the young people use Nightstop because the relationship with their parents or carers has broken down.
“Our hosts offer them somewhere safe, warm and dry to spend a few nights, while we help them to make decisions about the future. Some are able to return home, while we can help others to access more permanent accommodation.
“The selfless households who volunteer with us offer a real lifeline for young people with nowhere else to go. We’re always eager to meet new people who are interested in hosting.”
One of the young people from Sheffield, who has been helped by the service, explained the types of dangers they can face on the street: “There are these boys who always run after me. They’ll chase me – I’ll leave my stuff in the park, sometimes I won’t sleep for four days, five days, because I’m really scared when they chase me.
“So I don’t think sleeping on the street is good. Not good, because you are depressed and stressed.”
Nightstop South Yorkshire is a Depaul UK service, and its launch was made possible by the generous support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Ms Smith added: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery. They’ve raised more than £301million for good causes, and we couldn’t have helped the 58 young people that we have over the past two years without them. With their ongoing support we hope to be able to help many more.”