A YOUNGSTER from Clackmannan raised around £500 for the homeless after braving the cold and spending the night camping in his back garden.

Coby Taylor, 7, has always been keen to help those sleeping rough, but found he was not old enough to take part in most fundraising events.

His mum, Nicola Taylor, 35, told the Advertiser: "The charity Social Bite hold sleep outs every year, and my husband and I took part last year and our son was keen to join in, but was too young.

"Where we stay we're not really aware of homelessness, but when we go to Glasgow or Dunfermline he was always giving his pocket money to everyone he sees on the streets.

"He can't grasp the concept of people on the streets.

"This year Social Bite launched a Wee Sleep Out encouraging kids to take part through things like Scout groups.

"Coby fell short of the age group, but wanted to take part."

Instead, the keen youngster spent a cold night, in early November, outside in a tent put up in his back garden.

Mum Nicola joined him, and the pair started a fundraiser in the lead up to the event.

Nicola said: "We raised about £500; we're still in the process of collecting it so the total isn't exact.

"It was really good, but it was cold, rainy and miserable weather."

After hearing about Coby's event, Social Bite did their best to help out, and called Nicola before the sleep out to give updates on the bleak weather forecast for the night ahead.

Despite a few doubts, Coby managed to make it through the night.

Nicola said: "At around 3am we started to struggle, and Coby was saying: 'I'm really cold mum, can we go in?'

"I said let's think about why we're doing this and we talked about it.

"He went inside to use the toilet and then he said: 'I've changed my mind because we're really lucky, we can go back inside.'

"We started at eight at night, went inside for a pee at three then my husband woke us up at quarter past seven with some hot drinks."

As a treat for all his hard work, Coby enjoyed a breakfast of ice cream on the Saturday morning.

When asked how he felt about his fundraiser, Coby said:"I was glad when mum said I could take part.

"I thought it would be fun, but it was really cold, I felt really lucky to have a tent.

"I'm glad we raised lots of money for the homeless people – I'd like it if all homeless people could at least have a tent."