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Charity Appeals for more Volunteers to help Homeless Young People in Richmond
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Charity Appeals for more Volunteers to help Homeless Young People in Richmond
SASH, the youth homeless charity that supports young people in North Yorkshire, is appealing for more ‘volunteer hosts’ from the local community in the Richmond area.

SASH helps young people who have been made homeless by providing overnight accommodation in the homes of trained volunteers.  Thanks to this innovative service, vulnerable young people do not have to face a night on the streets. Instead, they are placed in the home of a volunteer and given a hot meal and a proper bed for the night, as well as someone to talk to. 

In operation since 1994, the charity arranged a total of 466 nights of accommodation in the homes of its volunteers last year. Almost half the young people that SASH helps are just 16 or 17 years old, and the majority have been forced to leave home as a result of family breakdown.  

Peter Robinson, Director of SASH, said: “People don’t realise that homelessness is a problem in places like Richmond, but it is.  It’s a hidden problem - young people might be sofa-surfing or sleeping on relatives’ floors for a long time before seeking help. The SASH Nightstop service is the first step to resolving the issues faced by these young people, and preventing them from entering the cycle of homelessness and unemployment We especially need new hosts in the Richmond area because we’ve recently lost our dedicated hosts Carl and Linda from Catterick, who helped 23 young people and provided 122 nights of accommodation in their two years as volunteers.”

The charity has other hosts in Northallerton and Thirsk, but it is keen to welcome volunteers closer to Richmond. Peter explained: “It is crucial for their future and wellbeing that the young people we help do not have their education interrupted as a result of homelessness. If we don’t have hosts close to Richmond, this means young people from that area may have too far to travel from the host we place them with to get to school, college or work the next day. We really need volunteers who live closer to Richmond to come forward to help local young people through a traumatic time in their lives.”

Being a SASH host is extremely rewarding. It’s a great opportunity to join a network of like-minded people who have a direct, hands-on role in helping young people in their own communities, and hosts are paid full expenses. Anyone interested in helping can find out more about Carl and Linda’s experience by watching the video at www.safeandsoundhomes.org.uk. We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in finding out more – just ring 01904 652043 or email info@safeandsoundhomes.org.uk.

Photo: Volunteers Carl and Linda Tomkinson

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