Building society customers in Watford have helped raise one million pounds to help end youth homelessness in the UK.

The borough's branch of the Yorkshire Building Society in the town centre has managed to collect £1,876 in three and a half years for its End Youth Homelessness partnership, which has helped over 455 young people and 95 dependent children into their own rented homes.

All the money for the partnership has been raised through activities such as colleague fundraising, public donations, innovative savings accounts and donations.

Victoria Wilson, manager of the Watford branch of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “I want to thank everyone in the community here in Watford that has supported our partnership with End Youth Homelessness. This has enabled us to help hundreds of homeless young people move into their own homes and provide them with the support they need to rebuild their future.

"Through our partnership, we’ve helped young people to overcome some of the enormous financial barriers to living independently like rental deposits, the first month’s rent, or household essentials and furniture.”

The news comes after Watford Borough Council announced agreed on an "extensive action plan" to tackle all types of homelessness, from families who have been evicted to single people with complex needs who are sleeping rough in the town's streets.

In Watford there were 43 young people, who were homeless or at risk of homelessness, who contacted their local authority in 2018/19, according to Centrepoint's databank.

It is estimated that 110,000 young people were in similar circumstances across the UK in the same time period, according to the data.

Nicholas Connolly, managing director for End Youth Homelessness, added: “The partnership between Yorkshire Building Society and End Youth Homelessness was about housing homeless young people, plain and simple. We have created a brilliant service that really works for homeless young people and a blue print for scaling other great local services.

“We are incredibly proud of this partnership and its legacy is hardwired into our future with the End Youth Homelessness Housing Fund, which builds on the partnership’s Rent Deposit Scheme. The hugely successful fundraising by Yorkshire Building Society will fund its first year of operation.

"We want to say a huge thank you to colleagues and customers at the Society for their support, which has helped change the lives of homeless young people.”