RESIDENTS are being asked to think of the homeless this Christmas and consider joining a scheme to offer them a safe place to sleep.

The Nightstop charity works across the region, and around the UK, to offer young people and vulnerable adults a bed for the night in the homes of trained and vetted volunteer hosts.

Elisabeth Bryant who hosts young people in the North-East said: “We host for Nightstop because it is something simple we can do to prevent someone spending a night on the street or in insecure housing.

"If one of our children was in a strange town, and down on their luck, I would hope so much that there was a Nightstop host there as well.

“When talking to other people about becoming hosts, I explain the ordinariness of it – just a friend offering a supper and a bed, but knowing that there was a skilled and sound support network behind you.”

More than half of the young people who use Nightstop become homeless due to relationship breakdown.

By offering short-term accommodation, volunteers can give people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness the breathing space they need to get back on their feet.

Staff at the service also help homeless people find other useful services and permanent accommodation.

Nicola Harwood, head of Nightstop said: “The work that we do at Nightstop to support young people experiencing homelessness is powered by the generosity of our volunteers.

"As the need for our services continues to grow, particularly over the cold winter months, we are looking for people to provide a safe night’s sleep for those in need.

“Though letting someone into your home may seem like a daunting prospect, at Nightstop we ensure that background checks and risk assessments are carried out, and all the necessary safeguards are in place.

"If someone wants to have a real impact on a vulnerable young person’s life, I would certainly encourage them to get in touch.”

More than 30 Nightstop services are running around the UK.

In 2017 volunteers provided more than 11,070 bed-nights.

Thorough checks are carried out on both volunteer hosts and young people using the service, who are helped to move onto safe, permanent accommodation by Nightstop staff.

Nightstop North East AND Cumbria is made possible thanks to support from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and the Big Lottery Fund, amongst others.

  • Anybody who would like to find out more about Nightstop North East and Cumbria, or wanting to sign up, should contact the charity at