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Simonside celebrates 20th birthday
October 9th, 2017
A Newcastle youth homelessness project celebrates its 20th birthday today (10 October 2017) with a reception for 50 guests including the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear and the Bishop of Jarrow.
Simonside House – which was opened by the late Cardinal Basil Hume, leader of the Catholic Church in England & Wales, in 1997 – is marking the occasion with a celebration at St. Gabriel’s RC Church, in Heaton, Newcastle.
Depaul Group Chief Executive Mark McGreevy, who is to speak at the event, said: “Simonside House was our first project outside of London. It is 20 years since Depaul decided Newcastle was the place we next wanted to go to help young people affected by homelessness.
“In those two decades, Simonside has worked in Newcastle with more than 500 young people, aged from 16 to 24. We now have other projects and services on Tyneside and our regional hub is at Whitley Bay, but Simonside was the first and is still as vital today as it was back then.”
The celebration is taking place at St Gabriel’s from 4pm to 6pm.
It is an opportunity to reflect on the past 20 years and will include hearing the stories of both current and former clients of Simonside House as well as musical performances from current Depaul clients.
Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear Susan Winfield OBE, Bishop of Jarrow Mark Bryant, and Newcastle City Council Deputy Leader Councillor Joyce McCarty will be joined by current and former staff and clients of Simonside, partners from across Newcastle and members of the local community members.
Depaul UK Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown said: “The opening of Simonside House was hugely significant for Depaul. This celebration marks 20 years of our charity taking an intentional approach to homelessness prevention which continues to be our priority to this day.
“Over that time in Newcastle, Depaul has developed its emergency accommodation service Nightstop, health and wellbeing services and its peer support intervention, sports coaching and basic skills work - all focussed on young people at risk of homelessness in the city and region.”