DEPAUL CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY AT WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL
On Saturday 27th September, the feast day of St Vincent de Paul, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster offered Mass in thanksgiving for the 25th anniversary of the charity Depaul UK. The mass was attended by close to 500 supporters, including 11 Bishops and representatives from each of Depaul’s six international operations, based in the UK, Ukraine, Slovakia, Ireland, France and the USA.
Speaking after the event, Mark McGreevy, CEO of Depaul International, said: “The Mass in Westminster Cathedral was a wonderful way to celebrate Depaul’s 25th anniversary and, at the same time, thank the catholic community for their support in helping people who are homeless and whose lives are in crisis. It was also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges ahead as we look to build and improve services that will help us to better meet the needs of homeless people, wherever they may be.”
Depaul UK was set up in 1989 in response to the growing number of young people sleeping rough on the streets across the country. Since then, the charity has helped over 50,000 young people through a national network of youth homelessness projects in the UK. Depaul now also operates in Ireland, France, Slovakia, the USA and Ukraine, offering adults, young people and families living on the margins of society a vital lifeline, providing hot meals, first aid, shelter and support.
On the same day the Mass was held, Depaul also launched a campaign calling on households across the Catholic community who have a spare room to consider making it available to a young homeless person. This appeal is in response to an unprecedented rise in youth homelessness, which has caused demand for Depaul UK’s services to increase by 300% in just 12 months in some parts of the country. An estimated 80,000 young people became homeless or slept rough last year in the UK.
The charity supports a network of 40 safe emergency accommodation services across the UK, called Nightstops, placing homeless young people aged 16-25 in the homes of over 740 volunteer hosts approved by Depaul UK. The scheme sees volunteer hosts provide a room, evening meal and listening ear to a young homeless person for one night or for up to two weeks.
Once engaged with Nightstop, staff can then work with the young person in partnership with local agencies to help them address issues that caused them to become homeless, providing family mediation and securing longer-term settled accommodation.
If you would like to sign up as a host family, visit http://www.depaulnightstopuk.org/ to find your local Nightstop. Alternatively contact us via Twitter and we will put you in touch with the right project: @DepaulNightstop
Cardinal Vincent Nichols with Mark McGreevy, CEO of Depaul International, and Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive of Depaul UK. Photo: Courtesy of Depaul UK
About Depaul UK
- Nationwide youth homelessness charity Depaul UK provides and supports over 125,000 bednights a year to homeless and vulnerable young people and has helped more than 80,000 people since it was founded in 1989. The charity continues to work with around 5,000 young people a year through its directly-run provision and national network of accredited Nightstop schemes.For more information visit www.depauluk.org. Twitter: @depauluk
- About Depaul UK Nightstop Network:There are currently 40 Nightstops operating throughout the UK accredited by Depaul UK. Staying Safe, an evaluation of the Nightstop network can be found at http://www.depauluk.org/_uploads/documents/research-publications-and-reports/staying-safe-evaluation-final.pdf
- Depaul’s journey began over 400 years ago in a small village in the Pyrenees where St Vincent de Paul was born in 1581. And since Depaul UK was founded in 1989 through thepartnership of three Catholic charities and the vision of the late Cardinal Basil Hume, the values based Vincentian charity has continued its strong links with the Catholic Church.
About Depaul International
- Depaul International is the parent company of a group of charities working to support homeless and marginalised people around the world. Each year we work with nearly 13,000 people in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Ukraine, USA and France. For more information visit: www.depaulinternational.orgor follow us on a twitter at: @depaulintl