Byte Night 2014: sleeping out for young homelessness

Posted by Abigail Gill / Monday 13 October 2014 / Care leavers Youth Homelessness

2014 was the biggest ever Byte Night with just under 1,300 professionals from the IT industry sleeping rough to raise money to tackle youth homelessness. Nationally we’ve raised £750,000 and counting…

Organising an event the size and scale of Byte Night takes lots of hard work and requires input from staff across Action for Children, as well as our fantastic Byte Night board members. From recruiting and supporting sleepers, identifying which services need Byte Night funding and why, to managing the logistics of the event. It’s a year long operation and couldn’t be done without the support of staff and volunteers helping out on the night. 

“It’s really rewarding to successfully deliver an event such as this, which takes many months of hard work and long hours to plan and deliver.  Even the task of packing for Byte Night is huge.  We had over 9 full pallets of materials delivered to the 8 sites, probably well over 200 boxes going to 8 locations across the UK” – Rob Fenton, Events Manager

This year we had a record eight Byte Night events across the UK in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Belfast, Cambridge, Reading and Edinburgh. In most locations sleepers were lucky to have mild and dry weather, however our poor sleepers in Edinburgh spent all night sleeping out in the rain before being sent home to bed!

As well as sleeping out, sleepers have done everything from Guinness World Record Braking Cycles to Beards for Byte Night (growing a beard for 100 days before the event and shaving it off at the event) to raise money for Action for Children.

The highlight of the evening was hearing from young people, who told us how they have been supported by Action for Children staff and the difference this has made to their lives. The policy and campaigns team were also there to tell people all about the campaigning work we are doing on behalf of young people across the UK.

“One of the reasons I volunteered at Byte Night is that the event aims to tackle the root causes of youth homelessness – an increasing issue in the UK.  I enjoyed helping out at the London event as there was such a positive atmosphere amongst the staff, volunteers and sleepers. It was great to hear about all of the fantastic work Action for Children are doing and am looking forward to next year’s Byte Night already!” – Celeste, Byte Night volunteer

 If you're feeling inspired to get involved in Action for Children's fundraising work, visit our website!