Appeal for volunteer hosts at youth homelessness charity

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Youth homelessness charity SASH is looking for more volunteers in Scarborough to help provide a new service for vulnerable young people aged 16 to 25.

SASH prevents young people from becoming homeless by offering them a room in the home of a volunteer.

The charity already helps young people in Scarborough through its Nightstop emergency accommodation project and it is now launching a supported lodgings scheme in the area, offering longer-term support for vulnerable young people who are homeless and need a safe place to stay while they develop independent living skills.

SASH is urgently looking for more people in Scarborough to help roll out the new service. Volunteers are fully vetted, trained and supported, and receive expenses to cover the costs of volunteering.

Sue Atkinson, who lives in Scarborough, has been a SASH host for three and a half years and has helped 53 young people so far.

Sue said: “You see homeless people on the street, so you’re aware of it, but I didn’t realise just how many young people are sofa- surfing until I starting hosting.

“Before, if people mentioned homelessness I thought of London, Manchester, big cities, America. I didn’t realise how bad it was in North Yorkshire.”

Sarah Ware, community coordinator for SASH said: “The best place for homeless young people is in ordinary homes, where they can get the help and support they need. We now urgently need supported lodgings hosts to offer a room and work with the SASH support workers to prepare young people to live independently.

“There are no special skills required to get involved – you just need a spare room and a willingness to help vulnerable young people at a difficult time.”

Sarah is inviting anyone interested in volunteering to meet her at the Palm Court Hotel on Tuesday June 9 between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Or you can email Sarah in advance on sarah.ware@sash-uk.org.uk or text 07507 595240.