Laura Hillier

Laura Hillier

Nightstop Network Officer

Covid-19: Message from Nightstop UK

March 26th, 2020

​As the Covid-19 situation becomes more serious, we wanted to update you on how we are responding.

 In this time of crisis, Nightstop remains vital. Covid-19 and the measures put in place to control it may lead to more poverty and family breakdown, two of most common causes of youth homelessness, making our emergency accommodation services more important than ever. 

That’s why, wherever possible, the 31 Nightstop services around the country will stay in operation. 

Our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of the people relying on our services and the volunteers and staff who support them. To reflect the heightened risks, we’ve introduced new risk assessments, guidance and safety measures to keep Nightstop clients, volunteers, staff and the community as safe as possible.

 The situation remains under review, and if the risks become too great or the Government’s advice changes, we may have to stop hosting for a period of time. Under such circumstances, we will work closely with other organisations to find housing solutions for any young people referred to Nightstop.

 Finally, we want to extend a special thanks to all the Nightstop volunteers still welcoming young people into their homes to keep them safe under these extraordinary circumstances, as well as the volunteer drivers and other Nightstop volunteers.

 Thank you for your support at this challenging time, from the team at Nightstop UK.


    Join us in Greater Manchester


    Christmas tree illustration



    Here at Nightstop, we believe that everyone deserves a safe place to stay - but many don't.

    Nightstop offers a solution. Across Manchester, caring individuals are opening their homes to young people with nowhere else to go. 

    Volunteers offer their spare rooms on a night-by-night basis, while the Nightstop Greater Manchester team works to secure permanent accommodation.

    Nightstop host Helen says, "I’m not going to lie, it makes me feel amazing. It makes me feel like I am really making a difference to somebody’s life.”

    When she signed up for Nightstop, she was looking for an adventure. “I wasn’t married, I had no kids. I was bored. I was looking to do something different. I wanted to change something in my local community but didn’t just want to work in a charity shop.”

    Nightstop guests and hosts are thoroughly vetted before a placement is made - and those placements can be life-changing. 

    Nightstop guest Stan says: "I was close to sleeping on the streets when she let me stay and I am very thankful for that.”

    “I would say they are only strangers for the first five minutes,” says Helen. “Don’t be worried about any preconceived ideas you might have about who homeless people are. It’s just a vulnerable young person who needs a bed for the night.”

    Read more about Stan and Helen in The Guardian

    This Christmas we're encouraging the people of Greater Manchester to get in touch, because we need your help. As well as hosts, we need drivers to take our guests to their placements, fundraisers and community champions to spread the word about Nightstop. 

    If you'd like to find out more, please email

    Nightstop Impact Report 2018

    2018 was a year of highlights for Nightstop.

    As the numbers of host homes grew, we celebrated our volunteers, and we invested and evaluated the impact of Nightstop.

    Importantly, the number of homes able and willing to host young people grew from 542 in 2017 to 657 in 2018. This will ensure that we do not turn anyone away because we don’t have enough hosts available.

    While the young people that access Nightstop are the passion that drives our work, our volunteers are the life-blood which keeps our vital service running. This is why in November we held our first Nightstop Volunteer celebration event in Birmingham. It was attended by volunteers from Nightstop services across the country. Volunteers learned more about Nightstop’s ambitions, heard the story of Nightstop guests, and listened to a musical performance from a young person who has experienced homelessness.

    This year, we also developed an exciting partnership with Pixl Insurance to provide our hosts with great value ‘top-up’ insurance to cover Nightstop stays. This should give our hosts the peace of mind they need. Through a micro-grant scheme which we launched last year we were able to provide a burst of funding to help maximise the impact of Nightstop services. In total, 13 micro-grants were awarded to Nightstop services across the UK and helped with such things as targeted marketing to help recruit more hosts, keeping Nightstop guests safe and helping local services develop their own impact assessment.

    Lastly, in 2018 we focused on gaining a greater understanding of the impact Nightstop’s work has. We published ‘More than Bednights’, a social return on investment report which showed that Nightstop is so much more than providing a safe place to sleep, with additional outcomes such as a reduced risk of harm, improved sleep and personal care and increased choice and control. We’ve included some of these insights in the pages of this report.

    Thank you for reading, and here’s to an even greater impact in 2019.

    • Download the full report below, or click here to find out more about the Nightstop services in your area and how you could get involved as a volunteer.
    Navigation label: 
    Home > About Us > Our News > Nightstop Impact Report 2018
    Short description: 
    Find out about the impact our Nightstop Network had in 2018
    Feature image: 
    Nightstop Impact Report 2018
    Read more about the impact of the Nightstop network

    Nightstop West Lothian


    Nightstop West Lothian places young people who have nowhere to stay in trained volunteers' spare rooms.

    Young people receive a private room, a warm meal and somewhere safe to stay for the night, while we look for a more permanent solution.

    Nightstop West Lothian is delivered by the Rock Trust - a national youth charity.

    Local Information

    Nightstop West Lothian covers the area of West Lothian.

    The Rock Trust works in Edinburgh and the Lothians with young people aged from 16 to 25 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

    Our role is to advise, educate and support young people.

    We want to enable them to build the personal skills and resources required to make a positive and healthy transition to adulthood, while avoiding or moving on from homelessness.

    If you need somewhere to stay tonight, please call 01506 591860 between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday or emal
    • Address

      20 Grampian Court
      Beveridge Square

      EH54 6QF

      Learning from Nightstop in Canada

      November 29th, 2018

      Elisa Traficante, Director of Community Initiatives at Raising the Roof blogs for Nightstop UK about learning from the first year running a Nightstop service in Canada.

      Back in 2015 Raising the Roof, Canada’s first national non-governmental organization focused on homelessness, dramatically re-designed the organization’s strategic directions to focus on the prevention of homelessness. In doing so, I began to look for international examples of homelessness prevention. I was delighted to learn about the positive results of a shelter diversion strategy, Nightstop.  

      360°kids, was the first Canadian organization to scale the Nightstop model in the Canadian context in 2017. In order to develop proof of concept of Nightstop here in Canada, my team and I worked with 360°kids to complete a program evaluation of the pilot.

      Pamela Sariyannis, led the program evaluation on behalf of Raising the Roof. Pamela reported positive findings based on the pilot’s early results:

      Some changes may be needed to better suit the York Region’s context.

      • 83% of host respondents to an online survey noted that youth having to take their belongings with them every day is a limitation of the program
      • Host volunteers are also trained as drivers to be able to pick up and drop off young people when they can since York Region is so large
      • Hosts suggested setting up youth in a home for more than one night at a time and allowing them to leave their belongings would be a positive change
      • Due to the limited housing options in York Region, Supported Lodgings (a longer-term model of Nightstop) is being developed for youth who need more than 3 weeks to find stable housing

      Next Steps:

      Raising the Roof will continue to support the efforts of 360°kids’ progress with the Nightstop model. My team will also provide additional technical support to agencies across Canada interested in implementing the model in their local communities.

      In addition, Raising the Roof is a founding member of A Way Home Canada, a national coalition to end youth homelessness. In partnership with A Way Home Canada, we will be working to promote Nightstop and other longer-term models of Host Homes programming in public policy, systems planning and practise across Canada.

      Finally, working with The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, the leading national research body on homelessness we will be conducting a developmental evaluation of our efforts to scale the initiative. In this evaluation framework will be examining the following evaluation questions:

      1. How can we build off the successes of DePaul in scaling Nightstop across Canada?

      2. How can partnerships and cross-ministerial relationships be utilized to create high leverage policy opportunities for scaling the Nightstop model across Canada?

      3. How can the model be culturally adapted to meet the needs of Indigenous young people?

      I am delighted to work with the Depaul UK team. I have enjoyed tremendous learning from our UK partners and look forward to integrating these learnings in efforts to achieve our goal of preventing homelessness across Canada.

        Life on the Streets: How Nightstop helps

        - Blog by Depaul UK Associate Director for Prevention, Nicola Harwood

        “My Nan died when I was 16. I lived with her from the age of three up until I was 16 because my Mum went to prison. After my Nan died, my family separated. It all just started from there really, like sleeping in sheds and tents.” - Finn, 18

        Finn’s story is one of 10 young people who have shared their story as part of Depaul’s “Life on the Streets” report. Through these interviews, we hear from young people in Depaul accommodation projects about their experiences of rough sleeping in their own words. Put bluntly, these stories are heart breaking. 

        I think at Nightstop we focus so much on the transformative effective our incredible hosts can have, we sometimes forget the journeys that young people have been on to get there.

        Far too often young people are neglected and missed out of conversations about rough sleeping and what needs to be done to end it. These powerful stories remind us that unfortunately it happens, and now more than ever young people are sleeping in dangerous places because they have no where else to go.

        For Finn, he ended up placed with Nightstop, where we work to prevent homelessness from ever happening.

        This week the government launched it’s rough sleeping strategy and highlighted how, “Schemes like Nightstop […] show the vital role communities can play.”

        Nightstop is rooted in the community, and helps provide a practical response to those young people who had no where to go. Our volunteer hosts provide that emergency accommodation but more than that, it is also a core part of our commitment to preventing homelessness. We try to reach young people before they start rough sleeping at all.

        Click here to read more, and download the new Life On The Streets report.

        If you’re inspired to take action and make a difference in your community by becoming a Nightstop host, you can find your local service here or read more about how Nightstop works.

        Navigation label: 
        Home > About us > Our news > Life on the Streets: How Nightstop helps
        Short description: 
        Head of Nightstop Nicola Harwood blogs about how Nightstop can break the cycle of rough sleeping
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        Jude: "I'm lucky to be able to host"

        July 20th, 2018

        Host Jude shared her story with the Huffington Post, to encourage others to volunteer. She says she's never felt unsafe, because she trusts the judgement of Nightstop staff members who carry out checks and vetting.

        Up and down the country people are looking for ways to solve our homelessness crisis. On Facebook groups we share our heartbreak at what we see on the streets and try to think of ways that we can make a difference in such a huge and ongoing social crisis. I’ve met a mother evicted (unlawfully) from her rental accommodation, leaving with a suitcase in one hand and her tiny baby in the other. I've met rough sleepers through another charity who come in to a drop-in during the day for warmth, a shower and a meal.

        I met a girl called who used to sofa surf at friends’ houses, and who had slept in a cupboard beneath the stairs for want of anywhere better. Another young person left work due to extreme stress and then, when his relationship ended, spent 3 months sleeping in a garage. He took me to see that garage for myself. Thankfully, most of the people I have met who've experienced homelessness have, with the support of incredible charities been helped to move on to places of their own.

        Why I host

        I started hosting nine months ago – utilising my spare room to host young women aged between 16 and 25 who are experiencing homelessness. All of the women I’ve hosted have been referred to the charity and have references; people experiencing more complex problems which might pose more of a risk are referred to other agencies.

        Alongside these charities there are many individuals who want to play a part in making things easier for people in crisis.

        When the problem is so big and the issues around homelessness so complex and seemingly impossible to tackle, where do you start?

        Is being a Nightstop host dangerous?

        I host young people through Nightstop, and as a host I have been asked on many occasions whether I feel nervous about hosting young people or worried that one of them will steal from me. 

        The truthful answer is no! At no point have I felt unsafe and I have never thought about having my possessions taken. Far from it. All of the young people I have met have been charming and respectful.

        I completely trust the staff at Nightstop to do their checks on my guests so that I can welcome them with open arms.

        Before a young person is placed with me, staff at Nightstop will have carried out a risk-assessment and run checks on the young person. And of course, I’ve been checked out too. Before I was able to start hosting, staff ran a DBS check on me, visited my home and took up references.

        Why do young people use Nightstop?

        Some of the issues the young women I host have faced include family breakup, fleeing gang exploitation, evictions by landlords who want to sell up or put up the rent in the accommodation my guests live in and even live-in landlords expecting sexual favours. I've hosted a girl who used to walk the streets at night after her evening job, just so she didn't have to go back to her family home. 

        I'm lucky that I am able to host. I grew up in a house where my parents had bed and breakfast guests when my siblings left home. I'm also an Airbnb host, to supplement my freelance income, so I’m used to having strangers come to stay.

        By volunteering for Nightstop I have met incredible women who have hopes and dreams and ambitions.

        From being a doctor to going into journalism and even being a dentist, the young people I host have lofty career ambitions just like anyone else their age.  I'm there to be a listening ear and to reassure my guests that Nightstop will support them to find a long-term solution, often by working in partnership with other charities.

        I hosted someone recently, a 19 year-old student at college with the goal of becoming a doctor some day; it’s not the first time I’ve hosted her. When my guests leave I always say to them that I hope I don't see them again - not in a bad way, but in a caring way. I hope that they get a place to call their own quickly, and don’t need Nightstop any longer. 

        What happens to Nightstop guests when they move on?

        I have checked in with Nightstop on occasions to see how previous guests were doing.

        One 17 year old stayed with me a few times and was terrified of turning 18 and becoming an adult. 

        I was thrilled to hear she had been placed in longer term accommodation and finally found a place to call her own. 

        I realise I can't change the homeless crisis but I can play a small part in helping a young person at their time of need. I've learnt a huge amount from them and their different lives. I hope I've made them feel safe and helped them to understand that people do care. I haven’t had any complaints about my cooking yet! I know that amongst my network I am lucky to have a spare room and I choose to use it in this way.

        Get involved

        I hope that my experience with Nightstop might inspire you to volunteer your spare room, even just for one night a week. It’s a valuable way to help young people in crisis.

        You can find much more information here, or get in touch to ask the staff team any questions, speak to current hosts or attend an information session.

          Citizens Do – The biggest action yet

          For several weeks, the guys behind Cardboard Citizens have been asking the public to take action on homelessness. Their #CitizensDo initiative was inspired by suggestions by audience members, and challenges us to take action each week.

          Previous actions have included everything from buying a copy of the Big Issue to making contact with a local MP.

          This week the project has asked participants to take the biggest step yet – offering their spare room to a young person at risk of homelessness through Nightstop UK.

          Those who aren’t able to host have been asked to share information about hosting schemes like Nightstop with their friends and family, and to encourage others to host.

          Associate Director of Prevention at Depaul UK Nicola Harwood said: “Nightstop plugs an important gap – providing a safe and friendly place to stay for young people in an emergency. Where Nightstop doesn’t exist, these vulnerable people could find themselves in unsuitable accommodation or staying in unsafe places where they’re at greater risk of harm.

          “In 2017 we were able to host 1,403 young people, but unfortunately there were people we had to turn away. We hope that this action with CitizensDo will help us to reach more people with a spare bedroom who can make a practical difference in the lives of young people.

          “By offering a safety net, we want to prevent young people from rough sleeping, and ensure that one stroke of bad luck doesn’t affect their whole life.”


          A request from Cardboard Citizens:

          These are urgent times; we need you to spread the word.

          Whatever actions you take across the next few weeks, please share them using #CitizensDo, or by posting on our forum page. You may think your single action is small or insignificant but it's not! Lots of small actions equal one BIG action, and by telling people about what you've done, you will inspire others. 

          Sign up here to receive the actions to your inbox and be part of the Citizens Do movement.


          Navigation label: 
          Home > About Us > Our News > Citizens Do – The biggest action yet
          Short description: 
          The #CitizensDo movement is asking participants to volunteer as Nightstop hosts
          Feature image: 
          Cardboard Citizens logo

          Recruiting: Nightstop Coordinator NE

          July 3rd, 2018

          Nightstop North East is recruiting! Based in Whitley Bay, the team is looking for a full time Nightstop Coordinator on a fixed-term contract until May 2019.

          Nightstop North East is part of Depaul UK, a national homelessness charity offering accommodation and support to young people around the country.

          The role offers a fantastic opportunity to work at a large and well established Nightstop service.

          The ideal candidate will have experience of working directly with vulnerable people and be empathic towards the challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness. They will be able to help recruit, train and maintain a network of community volunteers to accommodate and support the vulnerable people that Nightstop North East works with.

          They will also be a confident and determined individual who is passionate about helping people find stability in their lives and moving them to a positive and independent future.   

          The Nightstop coordinator role is a busy and varied role that involves recruiting, training and managing volunteers, promoting the service to key stakeholders, and supporting young people and vulnerable adults directly.

          It will include working as a team to deliver an assessment and support service that enables vulnerable and homeless people to access emergency accommodation in the homes of trained and approved volunteers. Guests receive immediate assessment and if appropriate, will be matched with a local volunteer who will provide overnight accommodation, breakfast and an evening meal and the use of washing and bathing facilities etc. The postholder may also be working with people who are on a longer term placement within host homes, providing a comprehensive support package to enable a smooth transition towards the goal of independent living.

          You can read more about the Nightstop model and how it works on our FAQs page.

          Summary of job:

          The work the Nightstop Coordinator does will be underpinned by Depaul UK Endeavour model of assets based and psychologically informed delivery. The aim of this is to ensure that every guest leaves a Depaul UK service with the skills and resilience to be confident and self determining in their lives.

          Working under the direction, guidance and support of a manager/senior worker the Nightstop Coordinator will be responsible for guests needing emergency accommodation and longer term support, as well as sharing responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of all volunteers and staff at the service.

          The service is available to anyone who is homeless, aged 16 and over. It is available 365 days per year.  Project staff work with homeless people across identified local authority areas to support and achieve the best possible accommodation and support outcomes for each individual.


          Find a full job description and application form here.


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