‘Advent Box Challenge’ helps Sheffield’s young homeless this Christmas

The Sheffield Advent Box Challenge is encouraging local people to collect 24 essential items for young homeless and vulnerable people living in the city.

Nightstop, run by homeless charity Depaul UK, launched the campaign to encourage the people of Sheffield to give, rather than consume, this Advent.

The campaign challenges people to fill a cardboard box with something for each day of Advent, ranging from toiletries to items of clothing.

The donations will be distributed throughout the year to homeless young people aged between 16 and 25 who turn to Nightstop Sheffield for support.

Photograph: Nightstop S. Yorks
The campaign’s first donation  (Photograph: Nightstop S. Yorks)

Nightstop Sheffield has been running since the beginning of November. It is one 33 branches of Nightstop UK, which encourage people throughout the UK to “provide a bed for the night for young people who need it, in a moment of crisis”.

Rosie Kelly, from Nightstop, said: “A lot of people who come to use Nightstop don’t have any cash on them. If they don’t have any cash or toiletries they may feel uncomfortable asking for them.

“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by responses. The page has already reached over 27,000 people on Facebook.

“I hope the campaign will help keep the service in toiletries for a good portion of 2017.”

Nightstop Sheffield currently finds beds for between two and three young people a week. Ms Kelly said they hope to help more people as they find more volunteer hosts.

If you are interested in volunteering as a Nightstop host, please click here to find out how.

The Nightstop South Yorkshire team L-R: Nicola Harwood, Amy Smith, Hannah Benson, Nicki Pickard, Rosie Kelly Photograph: Rosie Kelly
The Nightstop South Yorkshire team
(L-R: Nicola Harwood, Amy Smith, Hannah Benson, Nicki Pickard, Rosie Kelly)
Photograph: Rosie Kelly

Over 400 people in Sheffield are currently “homeless and in priority need”, according to statistics provided by gov.co.uk.


Nightstop recommends the following items, for donation to the Advent Box Challenge:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Deodorant
  • New socks
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Sanitary products
  • New hair bobbles
  • New hair brushes
  • New pyjamas
  • New slippers
  • New slipper socks
  • Flannels
  • Combs
  • Soap
  • Plasters
  • Small 2017 diaries

When asked if any items are particularly needed by the charity, Ms Kelly said: “We haven’t had many donations of socks yet, and socks are always very welcome.”

Donations may be dropped off at the Depaul charity offices, at 176 Eyre Street, in Sheffield city centre.

For more information on drop off points or to arrange a box collection, please email nightstopSY@depaulcharity.org.uk or call (0114) 2787 152