VOLUNTEERS offering to sleep rough for a night will help fund affordable flats to keep young people off the streets.

Youth homelessness charity Southend YMCA is looking for individuals and teams of people to sleep in the car park of its hostel in Ambleside Drive, Southchurch, on Saturday, March 1.

Sponsorship would contribute towards the £1million cost of building affordable accommodation for youngsters at risk of homelessness in Southend.

Organiser TomMoulton, from the charity, said: “Based on the success of the event last year, this is the final push to develop apartments for people who would otherwise be homeless.

“We are very close to developing the apartments, and the Sleep Easy event is a way for people to get involved and make the service a reality.”

More than 60 people, including two Echo reporters, helped raise more than £8,000 when they braved temperatures of -4C to take part in the first Southend Sleep Easy event, in March last year.

About 25 individuals and a team from mental health services provider Richmond Fellowship have already signed up, but the charity hopes 100 people will take part this year.

To sign up, visit www.southendymca.org.uk/ sleepeasy2014