It’s always with some trepidation that you start a new job. And so it was when I stepped into the role of Director at Sussex Nightstop last Monday morning.

However, I have had such a fantastic welcome from everyone both in the Nightstop team and colleagues from partner services that by day two it felt like coming home. Which of course is what Sussex Nightstop does so well. A view shared by both an adult and young person who have recently been staying with hosts and whom I had the pleasure to speak with this week. As one of them who has now moved into stable housing said:

“Nightstop has been a stepping stone for me, to getting to where I am now, it’s been amazing and a very good experience; I couldn’t have moved forward without the support I received in Nightstop.”

From the extraordinary contribution and efforts of our volunteer hosts to the support of our many funders and partners, the collaborative effort that makes up Sussex Nightstop is abundantly clear and that includes the significant support of the local community who have been moved to respond to those homeless in Brighton & Hove and vulnerable in a variety of ways. In 2017 the Make Change Count campaign raised over £20,000 to be divided across the participating charities – funding that will ensure Sussex Nightstop can continue to offer its services to those who need it. Our heartfelt thanks go to all that contributed.

We look forward to the 2018 campaign 

So my first week has been busy but inspiring – the best combination I find. And I now look forward to working together, drawing upon my background in volunteering, befriending and charity infrastructure to ensure that we can offer the best support to those at risk of rough sleeping – providing a welcoming home when its most needed and the best possible opportunity for people to change their circumstances for the better.

Warm wishes

Alison Marino.