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£15,000 Church Grant to Homelessness Charity 30 July 2007

A £15,000 grant from the Church Urban Fund will help homeless young people.

The Homelessness Multi-agency Task Force, chaired by Andrew Swithinbank on behalf of the DHSS, has been successful in obtaining a grant to fund a new project called the Nightstop scheme, which is specifically intended to help homeless young people.

The Church of England’s London-based Church Urban Fund is making a £15,000 grant to the new homelessness charity Kemmyrk which will administer the scheme. The charity has also recently benefited from a grant from the Henry Smith Charity to pay for a projects development officer who will take the scheme forward.

Nightstop schemes provide safe emergency accommodation for homeless young people (in the 16-25 age range) in the homes of approved volunteers. This temporary accommodation gives time for solutions to be found for the young people’s needs.

The first Nightstop scheme started in Leeds in 1985 and now there is a network of projects across the UK. We will be able to obtain training and support from Nightstop UK, and we will need to abide by their code of practice and care which give us a benchmark for maintaining good standards.

The grant will be paid in instalments over three years and will help pay for a project manager who will set up and run the scheme. Other workers on the scheme will be voluntary and there is a need for hosts, drivers to take clients to the hosts’ homes, and receptionists/ administrators to co-ordinate the scheme and arrange the individual placements. All volunteers will be subject to the statutory checks for child and adult protection. Clients are accepted only by referral from approved agencies (ie the police) and there has to be a risk assessment to ensure that a Nightstop placement is the appropriate way forward for a particular client. An individual placement lasts for a maximum of three nights, and gives time for a longer-term solution to be found for the client’s situation. Volunteers’ costs are met and the estimated budget, constructed with advice fro Nightstop UK, for the whole scheme will be approximately £30,000 per annum. This would allow us to build a scheme around a core of ten volunteer hosts.

The Church Urban Fund was set up in 1987 by the Church of England to help combat poverty and deprivation across Britain. In its twenty years of existence it has invested more than £55 million in over 4,400 projects.

The bid was prepared on behalf of the Multi-agency group by Rev’d Cyril Rogers, Church Of England Diocesan Social Responsibility Advisor and Member of the Homelessness Multi Agency Task Force.

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