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Nightstop UK

Nightstop UK

'A surprising success'

Greg Thomson, chief executive of Nightstop UK is the first to admit his charity makes an unlikely success story. It sounds so crazy that people should get involved in this work, he says. "But once they get over the psychological hurdles, they quickly see that young homeless people aren't just waiting to do a bad turn."

Nightstop UK (NUK) was founded in 1999 to provide emergency temporary accommodation for young homeless people aged between 16 and 24. Shelter providers come from an approved list of volunteers from the local community, offering a spare room in their home. When the charity started it supported only two staff and 30 schemes across the country. Staff numbers have more than tripled, and it currently supports 45 schemes. Growth was achieved through a pilot project in 2003, which sought to develop standard best practice nationwide.

"Over the years we've provided accommodation on 62,000 occasions for young homeless people," says Thomson. "That works out as 28,000 young people." The most significant testimonies come from the homeless, young people themselves. A 17-year-old pregnant woman, who had experienced rejection from her family, explained: "Nightstop helped me to get the bedsit I have now. Maybe I'll be able to help some other homeless young person when I get my own home."

Greg Thomson 
Chief executive 
45A Otley Road 
Shipley 
BD18 3PY 
01274 533004 
Reg no. 1082066
http://www.nightstop-uk.org/

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