“We are known here for taking in very vulnerable women who are at a high risk of grooming if they are housed in mixed accommodation,”

Hannah, Ops Manager, Contact Hostel

Here Come the Girls Award – Contact Hostel

The Contact Hostel was set up by former nun, Brigid Murphy and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. Brigid was concerned that too many girls were leaving education with nowhere safe to call home. She realised that they were sometimes ending up on the streets or turning to drugs and alcohol to survive.

Whilst Brigid died in 2005, her legacy lives on, providing a safe shelter for young women aged 16-19 who are homeless or are “at high risk of being abused or exploited”. They may have experienced relationship breakdowns, domestic violence, forced marriage, threatened abduction as well as physical and emotional abuse.

“Contact will always have a special place in my heart because it got me away from places and people I needed to get away from.”

The Hostel isn’t just about safe shelters, but about supporting them to move on to better and happier futures with the requirement that they must be prepared to attend college, training or full-time employment.

“I enjoy living at the hostel because it has given me the opportunity to learn new things and do stuff that I’ve not really done before. I’ve slowly learnt how to become more independent.”

 Self-development and confidence building is also a priority, and the young women are trusted and treated with respect. Residents stay for anywhere between 1 month to 3 years.

“Without Contact I don’t know where I would be, they have helped me turn my life around. It is the best place I could have hoped for when I became homeless.”

Actress Siobhan Finneran, known for her roles in Downton Abbey, Benidorm and Happy Valley has recently become a Patron and is looking forward to working with the young women and all female team of staff.