A bed for the night for young people at risk of homelessness in Aylesbury Vale

Volunteer hosts to provide a safe place to sleep for a few nights, while a local charity helps young people find longer-term accommodation

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Thursday, 28th October 2021, 10:06 am

A local charity is relaunching an amazing initiative to help stop young people in Aylesbury Vale from becoming homeless and keep them safe.

Aylesbury Nightstop, run by Youth Concern, provides emergency accommodation in people's homes for 16 to 25-year-olds in the Vale who find themselves homeless.

Trained volunteer hosts provide a safe place to sleep for a few nights, a meal and a warm welcome for one young person at a time.

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Youth Concern works with young people to help get their lives back on track

Each young person is thoroughly assessed to ensure the safety of the hosts.

Youth Concern then works with the young person on finding a longer-term housing solution and helping them get their lives back on track.

Compared to the national average, Aylesbury Vale has 22 per cent more young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, the charity says.

Before the pandemic, 330 under-25s in the Vale identified themselves as homeless, and the number of vulnerably housed young people is increasing during 2021.

"A charity spokesman said: "Youth homelessness is a real, if often unseen, issue in Aylesbury Vale.

"Not knowing where you are going to sleep can be terrifying and isolating.

"Homelessness leaves people vulnerable and makes the simplest of daily tasks a challenge."

As well as more volunteer hosts to open their homes to young people in need from time to time, the charity is looking for volunteer drivers and chaperones to get the youngsters to a place of safety.

It would particularly welcome interest from Black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

A charity spokesperson said: "Our research found one of the main reasons young people become homeless locally is racism.

"We are keen to hear from potential volunteers who represent our BAME Nightstop guests.

"All volunteers are trained and given ongoing support to carry out their roles."

The spokesperson added: "The young people who come to Aylesbury Nightstop are from a variety of backgrounds and situations. Some are exhausted by living in unsafe environments, some are traumatised by abuse, loss or neglect.

"If you are welcoming, hospitable and have a spare room or access to a car, please get in touch.

"Thank you for helping us keep Aylesbury Vale’s young people safe at night."