New project helping the homeless needs volunteer support in Milton Keynes

This charity has recently started operating in Milton Keynes and needs support for an ongoing volunteer-led project.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 3:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 3:42 pm

A new project supporting young homeless people in Milton Keynes has begun this week.

The national charity, dedicated to combating youth homelessness, Depaul UK is running a 'Nightstop' service supporting those in need.

The charity needs volunteers willing to put young people up in their spare rooms for the evening.

Depaul UK's Manchester base

Megan Barnes, senior prevention coordinator, Depaul UK in Milton Keynes, said: “Nightstop is a volunteer-led service, and without the kindness of our volunteers we would be unable to operate.

"This is why this National Volunteering Week we are calling on the wonderful people of Milton Keynes to join us in supporting the young people in our community. By becoming a Nightstop host, you can support someone at a time of crisis in a way that is safe and fits around your life and time commitments.”

Milton Keynes has previously been labelled the 'capital of youth homelessness', by Simon Green, the chief executive of the YMCA in Milton Keynes. This is attributed to an escalating housing crisis, with many dependent on temporary accommodation.

A spokesperson for Depaul outlined that: "All Nightstop hosts are vetted and given training and support to ensure that they, their families and the young person who stays with them are appropriately safeguarded."

The charity allows volunteers to organise when they would be willing to have guests stay over.

Depaul UK is also restarting a reconnect service in Milton Keynes, as homelessness among young people is often due to a breakdown in family relationships.

Ms Barnes added: “Not only does Nightstop provide respite and a warm bed for someone in crisis. It also allows us to refer them to our Reconnect service so that we can hopefully support them to safely return home, or at the very least to rebuild the support networks that will be vital to successful independent living.”

The launch of Nightstop Milton Keynes is the result of a partnership between Depaul, Milton Keynes Council and Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership (MKHP).

Tracey McCillen, CEO, MKHP said: “Depaul is part of the MKHP network of organisations who connect to prevent and end homelessness in Milton Keynes. We encourage and facilitate innovative ideas on how to end homelessness with a focus on prevention rather than cure. Nightstop is a tremendous opportunity for the people of MK to provide young people in our community, who are at risk of experiencing homelessness, with a safe and warm home at a time when they need it most."

Depaul UK operates in other parts of the UK, including: London, Greater Manchester and the North East.

Councillor Emily Darlington added: “We’re pleased to be working with partners on this new service which will provide a vital lifeline to young people facing homelessness.

"We want people to know that there is support like this available and nobody in MK needs to be on the streets. I look forward to working with partners to end rough sleeping in MK for good.”

The Nightstop Network operates in over 30 different locations from Glasgow to Guernsey.

You can contact Depaul UK to find out more about the service and getting involved on this email: [email protected]