Meet the Bolton couple who have helped dozens of homeless youths by giving them a space in their spare room.

Margaret Simpson, 65, and her 81-year-old husband John have been volunteering for the charity Nightstop for over two years.

The pair have taken dozens of young men and women into their Little Lever home, including a young man attacked by his drug addict mother, and a woman kicked out of her family home after refusing an arranged marriage.

Mrs Simpson said: “We’ve had all kinds of people stay with us, we had one guy who was 21 when he stayed with us but as a teenager he was a professional footballer.

“At one stage he’d had thousands but for one reason or another it’d all gone pear shaped and he found himself out on the streets.

“Nearly all of the people we’ve had come to stay have become homeless because of family or relationship breakdowns that have seen them kicked out of their homes.

“We’ve had people come to stay with us who’ve said it’s just nice to see two people getting along – we were their first sight of a positive model of a relationship.

“It just makes you aware how much you take for granted when it comes to normality.”

The Nightstop Network in Greater Manchester is run by Depaul UK, a charity supported by the People's Postcode Lottery.

Hosts like Mr and Mrs Simpson are thoroughly vetted and given training and support before being able to accept homeless youths, aged 16-25.

The couple joined the scheme after Mr Simpson read an article about it, and thought the pair would be able to manage the commitment.

He said: "You read about all these things that people do to support charities and think 'bloody hell I could never do anything like that'.

"Nightstop sounded completely painless, just by having a spare room you can do somebody a great favour.

"It's an amazing, and really interesting experience, I think about one of the first girls that came to us, she arrived by taxi and I was home on my own and thought 'this is bizarre'.

"She was about 16 and must have been through some terrible things and before her there's an old fellow opening the door and she's got to step inside, not knowing anything about me, that must have been scary."

The pair have taught people how to cook, given up some of their possessions, and even helped someone with a singing audition during their time with the charity.

They're one of over 600 households across the country opening up their spare room to people in need, providing a hot meal, safety, and a warm bed for the night.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has stopped Mr and Mrs Simpson from opening up their home, something that has upset the couple greatly.

Visit for more information on the scheme and how to get involved.