Wyre Forest Nightstop
Wyre Forest Nightstop is a Kidderminster-based charity that works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless. The charity supports young people with a range of services, from emergency accommodation to family mediation, and offers opportunities to develop new skills and gain qualifications and experience through volunteering.
One of the young people they supported was Courteney who came to Wyre Forest Nightstop a day after she turned 18 when she was obliged to leave her foster carers:
“Suddenly I was homeless. I didn’t know what to do, or where to go, but I found myself at Wyre Forest Nightstop who helped me when I had no-one else. They placed me with a host family, helped me into supported housing, and I started volunteering for them and gained a Peer Mentoring qualification. I’ve now got a flat and a job, but I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without Nightstop. Their support has never come to an end, they’re always here for me.”
Wyre Forest Nightstop received their first grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation back in 2015, when they were given £13,050 to develop strategically and strengthen their organisational systems.
“Our turning point came two years ago when we were given an Enable grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation which equipped our staff and trustees with the skills we needed to tackle challenges head on” Judith Ford, CEO, Wyre Forest Nightstop
With the support of the Foundation, despite facing cuts and increased demand, Wyre Forest Nightstop’s services have expanded over the last few years, and the charity now supports more young people than ever before.
They have since been awarded a larger grant of £68,000 over three years from Lloyds Bank Foundation that contributes towards the charity’s core costs so they can continue to provide their vital support and services to vulnerable young people.
The charity has also benefitted from the Foundation’s Enhance programme, which aims to help strengthen their effectiveness through in-kind support. Through this, their Chief Executive Judith has been able to join an Ella Forum where she can meet other local CEOs to share ideas and challenges. She has also been matched to a Lloyds Banking Group Charity Mentor, Senior Manager Josh Cole, and gained the support of her local Lloyds Branch.
“Josh works alongside me and offers guidance drawing on his experience from a business perspective which is invaluable. People often comment on the divide between the voluntary sector and the private sector but we have so much to learn from each other. As I’ve found with my mentor, when we work together we can make great things happen. On a local level we have also had great support from our local Lloyds Branch - staff volunteer and help us fundraise and it’s a great example of a community coming together for a shared goal.” Judith Ford, CEO, Wyre Forest Nightstop
Of the support the Foundation and the bank has offered, Judith said:
“None of Courteney’s journey with us would have been possible without the support of Lloyds Bank Foundation.. and Lloyds Bank.”