Teesside call for Nightstop volunteers | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Teesside call for Nightstop volunteers

May 18th, 2016

Homelessness charity Depaul UK is appealing for more volunteers for its Nightstop emergency accommodation service in Teesside.

Nightstop North East provides overnight accommodation in the homes of trained and vetted volunteers in the area.

The service, which is supported by Big Lottery and Railway Children, has been in operation since 2008 and is run by youth homelessness charity Depaul UK which accredits a national network of more than 30 Nightstop services across the UK.

Kester Young, Nightstop Project Manager, said: "It is a shocking statistic that, on average, homeless people can expect to die at the age of just 47.

“The Nightstop service is designed to stop young people entering the cycle of homelessness and unemployment that can lead to this devastating outcome.”

He said: “Homelessness and rough sleeping are on the rise, and Nightstop North East wants to be in a position to provide support for everyone who needs it. We are encouraging people to come forward to help us make a lasting difference to homeless young people across Teesside this year.  

“In the past few months we have seen a rise in the number of people we have had to turn away because of not having enough volunteer hosts, which is a situation we desperately want to avoid.”

Nightstop, which is backed nationally by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, is a service that sees volunteer hosts provide a room, evening meal and listening ear to a young homeless person for one night at a time in their own home.

Its staff work with homeless young people, in partnership with local agencies, to help them address the issues that caused them to become homeless and to secure longer-term settled accommodation.

Kester added: "At a time of crisis, being accommodated in a host’s home ensures that the young person is not isolated and is kept safe at night.

“Volunteering as a host is a great opportunity to join a network of like-minded people who want to have a direct, hands-on role in helping young people in their own communities.”

Rebecca and Peter, volunteer hosts in Middlesbrough, said: “When we tell people that we volunteer for Nightstop, they are really surprised. I think it is because there is a certain stigma about homelessness.

“But when we explain about Nightstop and the young people they are helping, they understand why we do it. We feel that it is such a small thing for us to give - a spare room that isn’t really used - but that small thing can make such a big difference in someone’s life.” 

Rebecca and Peter added: “It has been a great experience for us, and we would recommend anyone to get in touch with Nightstop and find out more about the work they do, and make better use of your spare rooms!”

If you would like to find out more about volunteering for Nightstop North East, call 01642 249 782 or email nightstopne@depaulcharity.org.uk

 

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