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Charity launches ‘crucial’ helpline for homeless young people, thanks to National Lottery cash boost

Nightstop Gloucestershire - charity that places homeless young people in volunteers’ spare rooms is to launch a “crucial” out-of-hours helpline - thanks to £10,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Many of the young people who use Nightstop’s services have experienced serious trauma, which can lead to high levels of depression and anxiety. The out-of-hours line, which will run at night between 5.30pm and 9am, will allow people to ring up and speak to an experienced staff member to discuss any problems they might be facing.

Nightstop Gloucestershire is one of 30 branches across the UK, working directly with young single homeless people, aged 16 to 25. It works closely with the community, recruiting volunteers as hosts for young people – providing them with a private room, warm meals, and a safe place for them to stay whilst looking for somewhere more permanent.

Chantelle, 23, used Nightstop’s services three months ago and is now living in stable accommodation. She said: “I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Nightstop before… When I was referred to them, they found me somewhere to stay that very day and then supported me to find my own place. I am so grateful to them.”

Elaine Pearson-Scott, Executive Director of branch of Nightstop Gloucestershire, described a situation that led to setting up the helpline: “We had one volunteer stay up, talking to a young person until 2am, after they had a difficult conversation with a family member. At that point, the only number available to them was for extreme emergencies, so they had to support the young person by themselves. The helpline will allow us to provide crucial support to our service users and volunteers in crisis.”

She added: “Many of the young people we deal with aren’t living on the streets but are in unsafe or insecure housing situations. We don’t just offer them a place to stay, but also advice on finding a house of their own. Thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to expand that service to help even more people.”

Nightstop Gloucestershire is just one of 177 charities and community groups across the South West have been awarded more than £5 million of National Lottery funding in the past quarter*, supporting them to overcome social and economic challenges raised by the pandemic.

The South West isn’t alone in benefiting from National Lottery funding. Today it was announced that almost £65 million has been distributed to over 1,700 community organisations across England in the past three months*.

Rowan Miller, Head of Funding for the South West at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this funding is having a much needed positive impact on people’s lives across the South West. It’s inspiring to see dedicated volunteers and groups, like Nightstop Glouchestershire, giving vital support to people that need it. This funding has given a vital cash boost to communities, so they can build and emerge stronger from the pandemic.”

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Thanks to National Lottery players, last year we awarded over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK. Over eight in ten (83%) of our grants are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities across the UK that are bringing to life amazing ideas that matter to their communities.

To find out more visit

Notes to Editors

* These figures are for funding awarded from 26 June – 10 September 2021.

About us

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. National Lottery players raise £36 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £43 billion has been raised for good causes which has supported over 635,000 projects, benefiting millions of people - that’s 255 projects per postcode area.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

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