THE number of young people seeking emergency accommodation in Wyre Forest has risen since the turn of the year.

The district branch of the Nightstop charity, which helps the youngsters find somewhere to stay on a short-term basis, has reported that, in the six weeks since Christmas, 19 homeless young people - over half of them aged under 18 - have needed its assistance.

The main reason given for their homelessness is family breakdown. Nightstop said that welfare benefit changes and high unemployment locally posed challenges for many local families and sometimes the young people bore the brunt of that.

It added that impending Worcestershire County Council budget savings would also have an effect on services for young people in the district and charities such as Nightstop were increasingly finding themselves struggling to cope with the demand for emergency accommodation.

Nightstop helps the young people by giving them a safe place to stay in the home of trained and approved volunteers. To meet the increased demand, it needs more volunteers.

Anyone who has a spare room and thinks they could help are asked to call or email Nightstop for more information on 01562 743111 or

Nightstop signposts the people it helps, who are aged between 16 and 25, to other agencies, making appointments for them and helping with issues such as benefit applications.

It can also provide food, clothing and toiletries, when required. It is supported by Wyre Forest District Council and the district's community safety partnership.