VOLUNTEERS who gave more than 7,000 hours to support homeless young people across the Bradford district last year are the latest nominees in this year's Telegraph & Argus Community Stars Awards.

Bradford Nightstop, which receives referrals for young people aged 16 to 25 who need emergency shelter, has been operating for 21 years and provided 441 bed spaces last year.

The service has more than 60 volunteers, including 24 volunteer hosts who offer their spare rooms to young people on a temporary basis between one and four nights a week.

Nightstop also has eight volunteers who manage, secure funding, and recruit volunteers for the project, 26 telephonists who run the referral line, seven volunteer drivers, and others who work on a rota system to ensure dedicated 24/7 support for young homeless people.

The project's team leader, Joy Rainbow, nominated staff in both the Volunteer and Community Group categories of the awards.

"This year marks our 21st year of operation and some of our volunteers have been with us since day one," she said.

"During that time, they have given thousands of hours to provide warm caring places of safety, taking young people off the streets.

"The volunteers work tirelessly on all aspects of Nightstop, and the service would simply not exist without them."

The long-standing charity, which is in the third year of a five-year £230,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, recently began a drive to recruit more volunteers for its Nightstop plus project, which aims to place vulnerable young homeless people with the same hosts for an extended period of up to three weeks.

The Community Stars Awards are being organised by the T&A and Bradford Council to ensure unsung groups and individuals are rewarded for efforts in their neighbourhoods.

Nominations, which must be received by Tuesday, September 30, will be whittled down by a panel of judges before a shortlist goes to public vote.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony at City Hall on December 8, where they will each be presented with the prestigious Bradford Medal.