Ian Hamilton and his partner Clare are volunteer hosts for the Nightstop project run by Simon Community Scotland

MY partner and I are believers in giving back to our community of society, whether that is through coaching sport, volunteering at events or picking up clothing donations for a charity and delivering them to their headquarters. I suppose we believe in doing things that can help people in their time of need or because we have experience or expertise.

At the beginning of this year we became hosts for Nightstop, which provides young people aged 16-25 with a safe place to spend the night when they find themselves in a crisis situation.

This role comes naturally to me as I have been in a pastoral role for international students in a boarding school, and understand the culture shock they went through. I feel lucky that we were assisted in buying our first home, and our spare room is used for the odd guest but isn’t fully utilised.

This role allows us to provide a safe space for a service user. It has been a rewarding experience, as each user has been very grateful and even surprised that there are people out there who volunteer in this manner, and that there are people out their who care.

In the past I have volunteered at numerous events, so whether it was assisting in sports events for students with special educational needs, volunteering for community events, or assisting at events that welcome refugees to the city, I have always said “yes, I can help”.

Personally I am not sure what I get out of volunteering, I just enjoy it. This charity was a perfect fit, as it takes what I think is a pragmatic approach to preventing homelessness. I would not feel I am equipped to directly assist people that had been homeless, as everyone is an individual and there could a diverse set of needs for each person. However, Nightstop fits perfectly with my needs as a volunteer, especially as they are always ensuring that the hosts/volunteers feel well prepared and supported throughout the process.

I feel that homelessness is societal/community issue. Yes, the government could assist, and other community-based organisations already do a lot of work in this sector, but unfortunately more needs to be done. I hope my contribution will assist service users in reestablishing their lives in a context that suits them, and potentially they could become volunteers themselves.

This role is for people living in Glasgow who have a spare room. A sofa bed in a shared space is not suitable. For more information on becoming a host call 0141 418 6980, email: nightstop@simonscotland.org or visit www.simonscotland.org/nightstopvolunteer.