Hidden problem of kids on streets

Among those who have benefited from the help offered by High Peak Nightstop are Mark Leighton and Rebecca Walker.

Mark first had contact with the charity nine years ago when he was a teenager. He and his brother were found to be living rough in Grinlow Woods.

“If it hadn’t been for these guys I would probably have ended up in a ditch,” said Mark.

“They fed us, clothed us and managed to get us a flat on Eagle Parade.”

He said that over the years he had been back to the charity a few times.

“Every time Nightstop has been there for us – through thick and thin.

‘‘If it wasn’t for these guys I would have been in some major trouble.”

He himself has taken other young people in need to Nightstop.

“If this place does go it will be a very big blow.”

Rebecca said she was helped by the charity when she moved into a flat and had welcomed their support in practical ways like sorting out rent.

“They are just such a good help and support and a fall back if you are really struck.”

The charity offers help for those who often have nowhere else to turn as one recent case highlighted.

“We had a young lady from Slovakia,” explained Cath. “When she lost her job she ended up in one of the local villages sleeping rough in the doorway of a church.

“We helped her move back down to Birmingham where she had got friends and would hopefully find work.”

The young woman had been to housing who were unable to help and it was the police that put her in touch with the charity.

Cath said: “There are a lot of loopholes and a lot of ways in which young people can fall through the net.”