STUDENTS from Stourbridge braved the cold to sleep rough to highlight the plight of youth homelessness and raise funds for the YMCA.

Youngsters studying for Higher National Diplomas in uniformed public services at Birmingham Metropolitan College’s Stourbridge Campus raised £350 after spending the night sleeping outdoors in Telford Town Centre as part of the homelessness charity’s Sleep Easy challenge which aims to help change the lives of vulnerable young people.

Kevin Guy, lecturer in public services at Birmingham Metropolitan College, said: “As part of our curriculum we encourage students to think about issues faced by young people in today’s society and one major issue is homelessness. Sleeping on the streets, even for one night, gave our students an insight into the challenges some young people face and it was a valuable learning curve for them.”

Emily Harvey, first year HND public services student, said: “It was a very challenging experience, having to build a shelter from cardboard boxes and sleep rough, but thankfully we managed to stay dry and we helped raise funds for charity and hopefully helped raise awareness of the growing issue of young people having to sleep rough in our local communities.”