MP supports special reception for homeless charity
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert attended a reception last week (31 October) hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons to celebrate 30 years of Nightstop, a charity to support the homeless.
Nightstop is a service which was set up by the charity Depaul which focuses especially on young homeless people. The Patron of Depaul International is The Duchess of Norfolk.
Nightstop provides emergency accommodation for 16 to 25 year old homeless young people in the homes of approved hosts who are volunteers.
Young people typically stay with Nightstop for 7 or 8 nights while Depaul and its partners look for somewhere safe for them to stay long term. Over half of young people with Nightstop are there because of a relationship breakdown.
One in ten rough sleepers in London are care leavers, while one in five of who are looked after through the charity Crisis have experienced domestic violence.
Mr Herbert, who suggested the event to The Speaker, welcomed guests on his behalf to the reception.
Mr Herbert describe Nightstop as a “brillliant initiative”. The MP is an Officer and one of the founding members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ending Homelessness, which was set up three years ago with the support of homeless charities in response to growing numbers of people rough sleeping.
The APPG investigated and reported on three specific groups of homeless people – care leavers, prison leavers and survivors of domestic violence – and found that they are not receiving the housing support needed and are at significant risk of homelessness.
The report also found that their homelessness is preventable. Nearly 4 out of every 10 rough sleepers in London has been in prison - yet a fifth of prison leavers say they have no home to go to when they are released.
This year, a major piece of legislation supported by the Government was introduced – The Homelessness Reduction Act – which places new duties on councils to prevent and relieve homelessness.
On 10 October, World Homeless Day, many people slept out overnight to help raise funds for homeless charities and also to raise the profile of the issue.
Nick Herbert said: “The reception at The Speaker’s House was a wonderful way to celebrate 30 years of important work by Nightstop.
“Charities like this do marvellous work, providing a lifeline for homeless young people, and they really deserve our support.”
Mr Herbert added that, locally, the charity Stonepillow has been helping homeless people for nearly three decades, with hubs, hostels and supported accommodation in Chichester, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.
1. Photograph: The Duchess of Norfolk, Patron of the homeless charity Depaul International, and Nick Herbert at the Speaker’s House at Westminster.
2. To read more about the work of Depaul International and Nightstop UK see https://uk.depaulcharity.org/NightstopUK.
3. To read the APPG Ending Homelessness report ‘Homelessness prevention for care leavers, prison leavers and survivors of domestic violence’ see https://www.crisis.org.uk/media/237534/appg_for_ending_homelessness_report_2017_pdf.pdf.