- Nightstop Homelessness Volunteers Honoured at Westminster Reception
Westminster Celebration for Nightstop
November 21st, 2017
Nightstop Volunteers Celebrated at Speaker’s House Reception
Tuesday, 31 October 2017, was a day to remember for Nightstop UK as the service celebrated 30 years of helping young homeless people with a special Westminster Reception.
The event held at Speaker’s House, welcomed MPs, supporters, staff and volunteers, from Nightstop services across the UK, to help celebrate the special anniversary.
Guests included Depaul International Patron the Duchess of Norfolk, and Hilary Wilmer MBE, who founded the first ever Nightstop service in Leeds 30 years ago, and Nightstop volunteers from around the UK
30 Years of Opening Doors to Young Homeless People
Nightstop is run by homelessness charity Depaul UK whose Chair Suzanne McCarthy, shared her personal experiences of opening her home to young people as a Nightstop volunteer host:
“I’m going to be leaving here after this event and at around 7 O’clock there will be a ring at my door. It will be a stranger,” said Suzanne.
“It will be a young girl who I don’t know and who doesn’t know me. Tonight I’m a Nightstop host.
“I’m going to invite this girl in off the street. I’m going to wash her clothes if that’s what she wants. I’m going to feed her, probably pizza – that seems to go down well! I’m going to offer her a warm shower and give her a warm safe bed for the night.
“I’m going to see her on her way having had breakfast. My husband will get up early and make scones, according to his mother’s Irish recipe.
“What I’m doing tonight and what all the Nightstop hosts and chaperones and volunteers do is very simple. It’s very practical and it’s truly and deeply meaningful to those young people who are given a bed for the night because of Nightstop.
“What Nightstop hosts do is important for [young people’s] health and their wellbeing. I am very pleased and I’m also very humbled to count myself among the Nightstop hosts and volunteers in this room and throughout the country.”
A Safe Bed for the Night
Depaul UK Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown said:
Over 1,390 young people had safe places to stay last year. That’s young people who would otherwise have faced a night on the streets, another night sofa surfing, a night facing the prospect of being sexually exploited just for a bed. [Young people] who had a safe bed for the night as a result of your work.”
Nicola Harwood, Head of Nightstop UK, closed the speeches by adding:
“The volunteers work tirelessly every night to make sure young people feel at ease. Today is all about our volunteers.”
Donate to Nightstop
If you’d like to find out more about Nightstop and how can you help us to support young people experiencing homelessness, click here.