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Autumn 2013

Our values at work

Welcome St Vincent de Paul said ‘The poor are our masters.’ Every time I visit one of our projects I see in action the Vincentian values of which Depaul UK is built. Constantly we reach out to those most in need, seeing in them the capacity to overcome their circumstances and achieve their potential. Laura’s story, on page nine, is just one such example. BUT sadly, we are facing a financial crisis. Local Authority spending cuts are making it increasingly difficult to provide the sort of life-changing support that Laura has received from staff at Statham House, one of our high-support accommodation projects in Manchester. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations reported in May 2013 that charities are likely to lose £1.7 billion in public funding between 2010/11 and 2017/18. If we are to continue to offer the level of support that we believe vulnerable and homeless young people deserve, we are going to have to rely ever more heavily on the support of those who share our vision and values. Right now we need to raise £57,000 to continue the work of Statham House alone for the remainder of this year. The total we need to achieve in order to fund all our services is £400,000. Thank you for your interest in our work. Your support has never been more vital.

Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive

Inside: read about... Our story


Pauline & John’s story


Laura’s Story


What’s new? Big Society award We are delighted to announce that Depaul UK’s Nightstop service in the North East has received recognition for its exceptional work in the form of a Big Society award, presented by the Prime Minister at a reception hosted at Downing Street. David Cameron said, ‘This Big Society Award recognises the achievements of the whole Nightstop team, including the 33 inspirational volunteers who regularly open up their own homes to provide a safe place to sleep when it’s needed most’. The award was received by CEO Martin Houghton-Brown, Nightstop project worker Liz Fry and volunteer Nightstop hosts Pauline Gibson and Sheila Clapperton. You can read more about Pauline’s experiences as a Nightstop host on page five.

No Second Night Out One third of young people contacting the Nightstop service run by Depaul UK have slept rough the night before and demand for its services has never been higher. An award of £200,000 recently secured from the Government’s Homeless Transition Fund will allow our London Nightstop service to take referrals from over 35 agencies across the capital, enabling Nightstop to provide urgent support to more vulnerable young people than ever before. Working in partnership with London homelessness organisation No Second Night Out, this funding will allow Depaul UK to take concrete steps to ensure that particularly vulnerable young rough sleepers do not slip through the net. Welcoming the grant our Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown said, the funding will

allow Depaul UK to help ‘keep young people safe, repair family relationships and help them get their life back on track’.

Volunteer Awards Depaul UK provides much needed assistance to over 3,000 young people each year. Our work would not be possible without the generous support of our volunteers who, over 2012, provided just short of 35,000 hours of their time. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and support us in many different ways, mentoring the young residents of our hostels, fundraising and even opening up their homes to young people in crisis as emergency Nightstop hosts. Over the years we have constantly received letters of thanks and praise from young people whose lives have been touched by our volunteers. With this in mind we have launched our first National Volunteer Awards, giving young people who we are currently supporting, or have supported in the past, the opportunity to nominate volunteers who have particularly touched their lives. The results of the awards will be announced in September and we look forward to featuring some of the winners on our website.

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Our story We trace our values back at least 400 years to a small village in the French side of the Pyrenees where St Vincent de Paul was born. St Vincent de Paul revolutionised outreach to poor and disenfranchised people and he is regarded as the founder of what we would recognise as modern, organised, charity. He was committed to offering support to anyone who was in need and he mobilised support from all sections of society to achieve this. St Vincent had immense confidence in the goodness of God and the value of each person and dreamed not only of expressing this love in action, but also of acting in a way that encouraged every person to love with his or her whole heart. St Vincent recruited a large group of co-workers, inspired them with his love for poor people and built bridges between rich people and those living in poverty. In keeping with this ‘Vincentian’ legacy, from its earliest days the focus of Depaul UK has been on providing practical and immediate support to those who need it most, regardless of their personal circumstance. Our work began in 1989, on the initiative of the late Cardinal Basil Hume, in response to the growing problem of youth homelessness in London. Supported by the generous donations of buildings from the Vincentian community, what was to become Depaul UK (then the Depaul Trust) opened its first hostels to provide immediate shelter and assistance for the

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Depaul UK is a Charity which is justifiably proud of the values which lie at its heart. Our key values underpin all of the work we do: We celebrate the potential of people. We put our words into action. We aim to take a wider role in civil society. We believe in rights and responsibilities.

capital’s most vulnerable residents. The removal of the youth housing entitlement in the early nineties exacerbated an existing rise in the numbers of young homeless people. These developments brought about a noticeable shift in the profile of people experiencing homelessness and against the backdrop of the 1992 general election the plight of young homeless people began to attract significant interest and attention nationwide. Following on from this attention a picture began to emerge of vulnerable young people fleeing regional cities where the social safety net had disappeared and heading to London. In keeping with its values Depaul UK went where there was a need. Depaul UK expanded its services to regional cities across the country, working with community groups to engage and support vulnerable young people at risk of homelessness.

Following the example set by St Vincent all those years ago, Depaul UK has retained its focus on offering help and support to those most in need, without prejudice or judgement. Depaul UK prides itself on being a values led organisation. All of Depaul UK’s staff and volunteers, whether they are of faith or no faith, place these values at the heart of their work. Our values place us within a broader global network which is committed to supporting vulnerable homeless people whenever there is a need. Today, cuts to local government funding and wider economic pressures caused by the continuing global recession mean that there is an unprecedented threat to the levels and quality of service available to homeless young people and those at risk of homelessness.

A report by homelessness partnership organisation Homeless Link has found that during 2012/13 nearly one in five homeless young people were failed by their local authority and were housed in unsuitable accommodation. Despite this challenging economic and legislative environment Depaul UK is committed to ensuring that every vulnerable young person has a place to call home and a stake in their community. We can continue to see evidence of this commitment across our entire network of support centres. Centres such as Statham House in Rochdale, where vulnerable young people aged 16-17 with a high level of support requirements are able to access the specialist care and support they both need and deserve.

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Pauline & John Pauline and John have been Nightstop hosts for over thirteen years. In that time they have hosted hundreds of different guests from all over the world. This June, in recognition of their fantastic contribution, Pauline was selected to be one of the representatives of Depaul UK’s Nightstop North East to attend a reception hosted by the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. The couple are justifiably proud of this recognition stating that were ‘chuffed to bits’ to receive the invitation. Pauline said that the occasion was very enjoyable, they came down for the day and were shown round Downing Street, the Prime Minister took the time to speak to everyone present for a short while. Pauline and John first heard about Nightstop through a talk given by a member of the Depaul UK team at their local church ladies group. In the past the couple had used their spare room to host students and they thought that they could do so once again to help vulnerable young people.

relax over the course of the weekend until she said simply ‘I feel safe’. After her stay the couple received a personal letter of thanks from the young woman. Other guests have come back to visit Pauline and John some have even come to watch their church pantomime with them. Asked how they would sum up their experiences of being a host with Nightstop, John said that they had really enjoyed it, adding that it had been deeply fulfilling to be able to offer shelter to young people in need.

At first John and Pauline were worried how guests would behave but over thirteen years hosting hundreds of guests they say that they have never once had any trouble. Indeed they have often found that guests have been very shy and quiet at first. Sometimes Pauline and John play board games such as ‘Sorry’ with their guests and find that this often helps them to relax and settle in.

John believes that being a Nightstop host is not as difficult as some people might think. Modestly, John says that he believes that it is actually a lot harder and braver for the young people whom the couple host to come in from a difficult situation and spend the night in a stranger’s house. Indeed John says that being host has actually been surprisingly easy stating that the couple’s guests have been great and that all they have to do is to offer a welcome, a meal and a bed.

When asked if there were any guests who had particularly stood out over the years John mentioned one young woman who had been referred to Nightstop after being forced to flee the home of her drug addict boyfriend after he had become abusive. John remembers how he witnessed her gradually

Across the country Nightstop hosts such as Pauline and John generously offer their spare rooms to vulnerable young people who often have no place else to turn. If you have a spare room and feel that you could use it to help keep a young person safe, visit to find out more.

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I think that it is a lot harder and braver for the young people – coming from a difficult situation to a strangers house...

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Spotlight on:

Statham House Statham House provides a safe and supportive environment where young people can tackle their personal challenges. Through practical and emotional support young people are able to develop the skills they need to take control of their own lives and to live independently. The young people who stay at Statham House require high levels of care and many have a history of poor mental health and self harm, drug and alcohol use, risky and challenging behaviour or involvement with the criminal justice system. A large number of the young people supported at Statham House come from a background of care. At Statham House young people have 24 hour access to highly specialised care and support staff who provide intensive support, advice and guidance which is tailored to their individual needs. There is always someone on hand to respond to a call for help, no matter what time of day or night it might come. Statham House takes a personalised approach. From the start young people are invited to participate in and organise

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activities and to influence the way Statham House and Depaul UK work. Each young person is encouraged to identify their own personal short and long term goals, which the staff facilitate through ongoing encouragement, support and guidance. Working closely with placing authorities and specialist services, staff ensure that young people have access to all the specialist support and attention that they need. Statham House enables young people to develop the life skills which they need for independent living and then supports them in finding their own appropriate and secure long term accommodation. Over the page you can read how access to highly specialised care and support at Statham House enabled Laura, a current resident, to turn her life around.


For the first time I feel like I have somewhere to call home Laura, a resident of Statham House


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LAURA When 16 year old Laura arrived at our Statham House project six months ago, she was struggling with cannabis and cocaine addiction and staff were concerned that she was frequently engaging in anti-social and potentially very risky behaviour. Laura is tall for her age and looks very grown up, and she was regularly socialising with men who were much older than her. She hadn’t been to school for some time and had been in trouble with the law on several occasions. During her first few weeks at Statham House, Laura was aggressive and intimidating towards the staff and other young people at the project. Her difficulties were compounded by her drug abuse, which made her unpredictable and volatile. Project staff worked intensely with Laura to encourage her to reduce her drug use, address her anger and learn to communicate in a more appropriate manner.

It’s not all been plain sailing but at Statham House, Laura is able to receive the emotional support she so desperately needs and is starting to understand that she has options in life. Project workers are delighted that she has stopped using cocaine altogether and has significantly reduced her cannabis use. She’s also begun to take responsibility for her actions; for example attending a difficult meeting with a victim of her past crime.

Project workers also began to support Laura’s partner, who is currently homeless. They had become concerned by evidence of domestic violence between the couple, so decided that they needed to work with both partners to help them find other ways to express their emotions. They had also noticed that Laura’s behaviour was more stable when her partner was also on track, so working with both of them has had a really positive impact on their relationship with Laura.

Laura’s project worker says ‘Laura feels that Statham House is her home now… I believe the building up of a good rapport and trust has helped this to happen. She’s made some really significant changes since she joined us and is now starting to think about her future. She’s doing a ‘skills solutions’ course to help her get back into education, has kept out of trouble with the law and has broken all ties with the older age group. She’s interested in becoming a Youth Offending Team worker when she finishes her education’.

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Fundraising news Sleep Out raises over £3,000 Staff and students at Richard Challoner School in New Malden, Surrey have raised over £3000 for Depaul UK by holding a sponsored sleep out. As well as raising money, the sleep out helped to engage students with the reality of homelessness and some of the challenges faced by the young people who we support.

School Sponsored Sleep Out 2013 On 27th of September 2013, the feast of St Vincent de Paul, we are inviting schools across the country to take part in our first annual Sponsored Sleep Out/Sleep In. As well as helping to raise awareness of youth homelessness the sleep out will raise important funds that will help support Depaul UK in its work with vulnerable young people. Supporting the event our patron, Archbishop Vincent Nichols noted that Depaul UK offered those it worked with ‘a hope for their future’ and that schools wishing to participate did so with his ‘encouragement and blessing’. Sleep outs can take place anywhere within school grounds and similar events have been a huge success. Depaul UK has produced a range of resources for schools wishing to take part and these are available on our website. Are you a teacher, student or the parent of a child in school? Your school can help vulnerable young people across the country. Get all the latest information on how your school can take part in this fantastic event by visiting

Jury’s Inn June the 21st is the longest day of the year, and what better day for staff from the Jurys Inn chain of hotels to take part in a charity cycle to raise funds for Depaul UK! With hotels across the UK, Ireland and Czech Republic this really was a brave undertaking and together the team cycled an amazing 2013 miles! After several months of planning and fundraising the team managed to raise well over £17,000 in support of Depaul UK’s work with vulnerable young people, enough to provide 140 nights of accommodation and care for a young person at Statham House. The action was not limited to cycling; staff at the hotel in Watford generously gave up their time to receive donations and raise awareness of the events amongst their clients. Posing on a bike, one enthusiastic individual even donned the company mascot bee costume! All the staff did an absolutely fantastic job, receiving coverage from local press across the country, and we would like to give a massive thank you from all the staff and supporters of Depaul UK. There are some fantastic pictures of the event on the Facebook page of Depaul UK, take a look and let us know what you think!

Fundraising news Churches harvest appeal This year’s church harvest appeal has been a huge success. Across the country schools, churches and other community groups have been coming together to hold a variety of fun events to raise money for vulnerable and homeless young people. Even with some of the headlines that homelessness has been getting over the past few months, we have really been taken aback by the level of support we have received this year. Donations are continuing to come in and its not too late to add your support.

Christingle initiative As well as a time of celebration, Christmas is a time for reflection. With this in mind winter 2013 will see the return of Depaul UK’s Christingle initiative. As part of the initiative Depaul UK invites churches and schools to raise vital funds in support of our work with vulnerable young people. A Christingle service is a fun and memorable way to teach children about the Gospel and it is also a fantastic way to encourage children to think of those less fortunate than themselves.

The Depaul Box Company Our brand new Social Enterprise has got off to a flying start following a spree of free newspaper advertising secured by Publicis London. There is a negative association of cardboard boxes with homelessness. The Depaul Box Company turns that association on its head by using the profit from selling boxes to help fund our work with vulnerable and homeless young people. The Depaul Box Company sells house removal boxes in three pack sizes. If you know anyone who is moving home, do point them to

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Gaining an insight into the plight of homeless young people makes having the opportunity to take practical action to help a highly rewarding experience for children. This is an experience which they often take home to share with their families. Last year Chritsingle services where held in schools, churches and cathedrals across the country, raising over ÂŁ7,000 for Depaul UK. To find out how your church or school can get involved and to access our range of educational and liturgical resources please visit

Challenge Events 2014 Depaul UK has received some amazing support from volunteers during 2013 with fundraisers taking part in the London Marathon, the Great North Run and the Royal Parks Half Marathon to name but a few. Whether it is your eighth marathon or your first 10k, running in an event on behalf of a charity is always a rewarding and fulfilling experience. In 2014 Depaul UK will have a number of guaranteed places for a wide range of events across the country, including the always popular London Marathon. Training to run in a marathon is always a challenge. Whatever your background or motivation Depaul UK will be with you every step of the way, supplying you with training tips, fundraising advice and exclusive running kit. We regularly arrange visits to

some of our projects for our runners so they can meet some of the people helped by their hard work and determination. Competing for Depaul UK offers you the chance to help vulnerable young people reach their potential just as you train to reach yours. What more motivation could you ask for! Maybe you are looking to get fit and healthy in 2014, this could be an excellent goal to work towards. You could be a regular runner who needs that extra motivation to take the next step. Better yet why not recruit a friend and share your training experiences, you could even form a team with colleagues from work! Get the latest information at

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How your gift could make a difference £15 Could cover a Nightstop community host’s expenses for one night. £27 Is the cost of providing a young person with access to a support worker for a week, allowing them to maintain their own tenancy. £50 Could provide a vulnerable young person with safe and secure accommodation in a hostel for the night. £120 Could pay for a night of accommodation in a high support hostel for a young person with multiple and complex needs. £195 Allows us to work with a young person in custody, helping them to secure safe accommodation upon their release.

Take action for Depaul UK Become a digital ambassador:

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The challenging economic climate means that things have never been tougher for young people who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, homelessness. As the UK’s largest youth homelessness charity Depaul UK is committed to meeting this challenge. By liking our posts on Facebook or retweeting us on Twitter you can make a contribution to raising the profile of youth homelessness and help spread the word about our work...

The spare room in your house could be the difference between safety and a night on the streets for young people who have been forced to leave home. The Intergenerational Foundation (2011) stated that 25 million rooms are currently empty in England, but Depaul UK’s Nightstop Services are helping volunteers across the country use their spare rooms to give shelter to young homeless people in need of a place to stay for a few days. Depaul Nightstop UK is a service of Depaul UK and supports a network of accredited Nightstop services throughout the United Kingdom, each providing safe emergency accommodation for homeless young people aged 16-25 in the homes of approved volunteers.

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Please send your donation to: Depaul UK, FREEPOST RLUT-CZRH-BKCL, 1st Floor, 291-299 Borough High Street, London SE1 1JG or you can donate online at Depaul UK is the new name for Depaul Trust, Registered Charity No. 802384

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Contact details Contact details Central Office London and South East Regional Office Depaul UK, 291-299 Borough High Street London SE1 1JG 020 7939 1220 North West Regional Office Depaul UK, Greenfish Resource Centre, Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE 0161 234 2930

North East Regional Office Depaul UK, Youth Resource Centre Oxford Street, Whitley Bay Tyne & Wear NE26 1AD 0191 253 6161

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Depaul UK helps young people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged. We are passionate about what we do, working in the very heart of local communities.

Registered Charity No.802384 Depaul UK is part of Depaul International, a group of charities working to support homeless and marginalised people around the world. All images in this Newsletter are of young people that Depaul UK has worked with. The young people pictured are not the subject of the case study stories. Printed on 100% recycled paper


Safe and sound autumn 2013