YOUNG people slept rough to raise awareness of youth homelessness in Oxford.

The group of 15 teenagers aged beteen 16 and 17 united with their sleeping bags on Wednesday.

They came together over the last fortnight as part of the National Citizen Service programme where young people organise a project for a charitable cause or organisation.

As part of the programme, Team Babalaza chose to tackle the issue of homelessness, supporting national homelessness charity Centrepoint.

Team member Lauren Hunt, 16, from Henley-on-Thames said: “We realised that the charity was for young people so we automatically felt some sort of connection to it.”

The sleep out event was supported by the charity Oxfordshire Association for Young People and took place outside its Headington offices in North Place.

Miss Hunt said: “It was quite daunting, those 12 hours we had to stay out in the cold.

“I was expecting it to be a lot easier like sleeping in a tent but it was just different.”

Lizzie Carline, co-ordinator for the National Citizen Service project, said: “It’s so important for young people to really realise their full potential and to do that outside a school environment.”

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