A BLACK Country charity is calling upon caring Dudley folk to help vulnerable teenagers by offering them a spare room in their home.

The YMCA Black Country Group has been running its 'Open Door' scheme for the past five years and is desperate for more home owners to come forward.

The pioneering scheme has already helped keep over 50 youngsters from sleeping on the streets.

Project co-ordinator Rachael Taylor said: "It's not just about putting a roof over a youngster's head. People see it as a solution to a problem.

"The youngsters involved also agree to take part in a programme of education and employment. Last year alone, we had six youngsters who went onto university.

"We have around 70 hosts at the moment throughout the Black Country, but we really need more.

"Some people are prevented from coming forward who could help because they believe they will be robbed and assaulted.

"I've worked on the project for the past two years and we've only ever had an isolated incident of petty stealing.

"Without a doubt the project has helped change the lives of dozens of young people, supporting them with basic life skills and motivating them to achieve their goals."

Rachael plans to stage a new hosts course in Stourbridge next month where existing hosts and youngsters on the scheme will be available to meet.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the scheme can contact Rachael Taylor on 0121 524 1974.