Young people facing homelessness given the chance to shine at North Yorkshire’s Scampston Hall

Christopher Legard and the team from SASH
Christopher Legard and the team from SASH

Seven young people from York, Scarborough and Bridlington gave guided tours at historic Scampston Hall last week, to help them develop their confidence and speaking skills.

The youngsters, who recently faced homelessness, are currently being supported by the youth homelessness charity, SASH, (Safe and Sound Homes).

Guests at the event included high profile VIPs including Linda Fenwick, the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Janet Looker, Lord Best and business people from across North Yorkshire.

The guests were treated to private tours of the Hall with each young person assigned a room to talk about its history, restoration, art and furniture.

SASH helps 16-25-year-olds avoid homelessness across North and East Yorkshire, by offering a place to stay in the homes of volunteer hosts, keeping them safe at a time of crisis.

The charity provides an emergency nightstop service as well as longer-term Supported Lodgings accommodation of up to two years, all of which is delivered by volunteer hosts who give up a spare room in their homes for the young people to stay.

Last year, SASH helped over 320 young people when they had nowhere else to turn, many of whom were just 16-18.

Jadzia, one of the young people who oversaw the library, spoke of her day: “I’ve really enjoyed today. I was nervous at the beginning, but after the first tour I relaxed.

"It has been great to meet so many people who support SASH, a charity which is really important to me and many other young people.

"My favourite bit was telling everyone about the secret door hidden in the library!”

Chris Legard, owner of Scampston Estate, said: “We at Scampston really admire the work that SASH does with vulnerable young people in the area.

"It was a privilege to be able to open our doors to such an exciting event, particularly one that will help these young people feel more confident and experience new challenges, while at the same time spread greater awareness of SASH’s work.”

SASH currently has around 90 hosts across North and East Yorkshire however urgently needs more.

SASH Director, Peter Robinson said: “We are so grateful to Chris for allowing us to host such a fantastic event. It has been an amazing, hugely valuable experience for our young people and a great opportunity for our supporters to meet the young people they help.

"Events like these help us to raise awareness of the work that SASH does and our ongoing need to recruit more volunteer hosts so that we continue to help more young people across the region.

"Hosting with SASH can be flexible around your existing commitments and we provide full training, ongoing support as well as small financial benefits. If you have a spare room and would like to help, please do get in touch.”

SASH is currently being supported by the Four Acre Trust, a charitable trust, who are offering to double donations of £500 or more, up to a maximum of £15,000 until 6 September.

The donations must be from new donors, whether an individual, company or charitable Trust in order to qualify for the matched giving.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer host with SASH you can visit www.sash-uk.org.uk or call Adele on 01904 652043.