Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


This project will enable us to recruit, induct, train and support volunteer hosts who give up their spare rooms to help local young people escape from homelessness. We urgently need more hosts to help young people like Gigi* who was 16 when she was made homeless on Christmas Eve. Like hundreds of others Gigi had nowhere to turn and luckily a host was able to support her with a warm and safe place to stay and even manage a Christmas lunch.

Last year SASH supported a total of 335 young people to avoid homelessness over the course of a year. Many of them were just 16 or 17 years old. In total, we offered 1,184 nights of emergency accommodation. Their reason for homelessness? Family breakdowns continues to be the largest source of homeless amongst the young people we support (45%) followed by leaving care.

Our volunteer hosts are a crucial part of the SASH support for young people. The hosts are everyday people from all walks of life who have a big heart and a will to help. Some hosts are already parents, some are single, some are already volunteering for SASH and some have helped over 100 young people during their time with SASH.
These hosts act as unofficial mentors for the young people and are key in helping the young people to reach independency. The support of the hosts helps ensure that the young people remain focused on their future by fulfilling day-to-day goals. Small examples of this are hosts encouraging the young people to consider the effects of positive social circles, ensuring they eat well and attend education/employment. More poignant examples of this include helping young people through often one of their most difficult periods in their lives when it might seems that everything else is out of control.
The role of SASH and the volunteer during this time is to support the young person with the right skills to equip them for life. Our aim is to increase independency and the hosts role is hugely important within this. In many cases they act as a second 'family' and provide a vital sounding board when the young people often have no where else to turn.
We spend considerable time and energy on recruiting, training and supporting our network of hosts. Each of our hosts have a Support Worker who sees them through each stage of a placement, from introduction to training and support throughout.
This project will specifically include:
- To assess, recruit, train and induct volunteer hosts in order to provide effective placements to meet the needs of young people
- To provide appropriate ongoing training and support for Hosts in line with the policies and procedures of SASH by way of home visits, events, group training one to one meetings, phone contact, regular forums and training for Hosts
- To proactively guide potential hosts through the application process a
- To ensure that appropriate and timely Health and Safety Checks are carried out at hosts homes and appropriate insurance is in place.

One of our hosts Chris recently said: “I‘ve been hosting for about two and a half years. I got involved because I’ve had some difficult times myself. When I was looking for somewhere to live, I realised I was very lucky, because despite my troubles I could afford to look for a home. I knew that I wanted to help other people, do something positive, worthwhile, so I decided to look for a place with one or two spare rooms.

When I started hosting I just did Nightstop and had about 11 young people in the first two months. I absolutely loved it! They were all very respectful, friendly, grateful. I was impressed at how resilient they are. I’ve found the support I get fantastic. The people at SASH are really helpful. I think the best thing I’ve learnt through hosting is that all these young people are just fantastic people. It’s restored my faith in humanity."

Please help us to recruit more hosts like Chris - together we can help even more young people escape homelessness.

SASH (Safe & Sound Homes)

Moment of Pride

The hosts. The young people. The staff.

Quotes include; they can never do enough. They go above and beyond. They are amazing. They never give up on us.

Ultimately – we are a charity run by the community for the community. What can be better than that?

Location: Walmgate, York YO1 9UA, UK