About 250 senior IT professionals will take part in the annual Byte Night charity sleep-out on London’s Embankment on 22 September in an effort to raise £300,000 to combat child homelessness.
Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Palace of Westminister, is this year’s venue, and the evening will begin with a reception in the House of Lords. However, after the reception sleepers will spend the rest of the night in their sleeping bags on the hard ground exposed to the elements.
The event, supported by Computer Weekly, is a positive gesture by UK IT professionals to highlight the plight of homeless children.
This year Byte Night has set a fundraising target of £2,000 for individual participants and £5,000 for company teams.
Since it started in 1998 Byte Night, which is supported by Computer Weekly, has raised more than £1.3m for NCH, a charity that provides support for the estimated 100,000 children who do not have permanent homes in the UK.
Due to local authority matched funding, every £1 raised by the Byte Night sleepers will result in £5 going to NCH.
The money is well used – it costs £5 to pay for emergency overnight support for one young person living on the street; £10 could pay for a one-to-one advice session for a young person leaving care; and £500 could keep one of the NCH’s leaving care and homelessness projects open for one week.
Byte Night is organised by its founder Ken Deeks, director of PR company Kaizo, and James Bennet, director at Ernst & Young. Byte Night board members comprise senior directors and managers of major IT organisations, including the UK heads of Intel, SAP, Vodafone, Harvey Nash, and Banner Corporation. Computer Weekly’s managing editor John Riley is also on the board and will be sleeping out this year.