We’re looking for the generous people of Glasgow to open their homes and hearts to vulnerable young people at risk by providing a bed for a night or two. Here, our ambassador, the singer and actress Lorraine McIntosh, reveals why she’s supporting our campaign.
Lorraine, from Glasgow, is popularly known as the Deacon Blue singer. She is married to Deacon Blue singer-songwriter Ricky Ross and they have three children. She has achieved notable success as an actress, starring in Scottish TV soap opera River City as Alice Henderson and appearing in Taggart.
She has also been in a few Scottish films, including Ken Loach’s My Name Is Joe and Lone Scherfig’s Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, as well as BBC One’s comedy-drama, Hope Springs.
Lorraine is supporting Nightstop because she became homeless when she had just turned 18.
Luckily, Lorraine could stay with one of her friends until the end of term. Then she lived with her brother for a short time until she found a place of her own.
She said: “I came out of school one day and didn’t know where I was going to sleep that night.
“It was a really shameful and embarrassing experience and I had nowhere to turn.
“If Nightstop had been around then that would have been brilliant.
“It would have been a wonderful to walk into someone’s home and not to be asked any questions.
“Just to be offered a bedroom, a hot meal, some nice clean pyjamas and toiletries and to know the host is there if you want to talk, but it’s left up to you.
“I didn’t really want extended family members to know what was going on.
“People’s lives are complicated and staying with a stranger takes away some of the pressure of talking about painful things.”
She added: “One of the strongest messages that comes through is that if someone has become a host, they have decided to do that, and you’re not turning up at your aunties house out of the blue.
“They are saying ‘I’m here for you, this is something I want to do’.”
When Lorraine went out with the Simon Community on a street patrol she met young people with drug and alcohol problems who had been involved in really dangerous situations, such as sexual and physical violence.
She believes that if someone had been able to intervene in these young people’s early days it’s possible that their life could have been totally different.
Lorraine is to host a no-obligation Nightstop Information Evening for people who are interested in finding out more about becoming a Nightstop host. It will take place on 24 October 2019. If you would like to attend please register via simonscotland.org/nightstopvolunteer.