OVER 150 IT and business experts from across Scotland have volunteered to bed down for the night [Friday, 5 October] in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park to raise awareness of youth homelessness.
Armed with just sleeping bags and a sense of adventure, volunteers will brave the Scottish weather for Byte Night, the IT industry’s annual sleep-out in support of leading children’s charity Action for Children. The event is expected to raise over £70,000.
Byte Night Scotland is currently in its fifth year, with over 400 sleepers taking part since the fundraising challenge launched in 2008. Simultaneous events will take place in London, Cambridge, Thames Valley and Belfast, with over 1,100 IT experts sleeping out across the UK to raise vital funds for youth homelessness.
Grant McFarlane, corporate and major donor fundraising manager at Action for Children Scotland, said: “The support and enthusiasm for Byte Night has been incredible and we’re very grateful to everybody taking part.
“There is a genuine appetite among participants to transform the lives of the young people we work with – with some keen sleepers coming back for their fourth or fifth years. The night itself looks to be a huge success, and like all our sleepers, I am just hoping the rain stays off.”
Chair of the Byte Night Scotland Committee, Robert Heggie, believes that lack of technology and associated know-how has a great impact on the lives of vulnerable and neglected young people: “It is important to remember that many vulnerable young people do not have access to the everyday technologies that we take for granted. Imagine trying to find a job, produce a CV or complete an application form without the use of a phone, computer or the internet – and that is before you even get into the workplace, where people are expected to have at least a basic knowledge of IT.
“A lack of understanding of, or access to, technology can make it very difficult for young people to break the cycle of deprivation and improve their personal and financial circumstances. Byte Night brings together experts from across the IT sector to support the fight against youth homelessness and Action for Children’s proven approach: providing safe accommodation; enabling access to technology and education to develop IT skills; and ultimately unlocking opportunities for employment and further/higher education.”
This year, sleepers have been recruited from companies across Scotland including the Royal Bank of Scotland; BT; National Australia Group; Harvey Nash; A.G Barr and Amazon Development Centre.
Notes to News Editors
- Action for Children Scotland supports over 8,000 children, young people and their families at 62 projects across the country;
- Action for Children Scotland works with the most vulnerable and neglected children and young people: whose families need support; are in care; who are disabled; who experience severe difficulties in their lives;
- Action for Children is a national charity delivering services that respond to the local needs of children, young people, their families and communities;
- Action for Children Scotland is committed to helping children and young people as early as possible, offering long-term solutions;
- Action for Children Scotland campaigns to change the lives of theUK’s most vulnerable and neglected children and young people;
- Children are at the centre of everything Action for Children Scotland does. For further information, visit www.actionforchildren.org.