Byte Night raises another £300,000 for child support


Byte Night raises another £300,000 for child support

Computer Weekly reporter
The IT industry may be in the doldrums but the success of last week's Byte Night sleep-out which raised about £300,000 shows that its commitment to charity remains high.

The IT minister Stephen Timms, actress Jenny Agutter and 140 senior IT executives slept rough in London's Finsbury Square to help National Childrens' Homes (NCH) in its work to keep homeless children off the streets.

The annual Byte Night mass sleep-out started five years ago and this year's cash takes the total raised to close to £1m.

As NCH can leverage another £4 from statutory contributions for each £1 raised, social care has benefited overall to the tune of about £5m.

The weather smiled on this year's Byte Night as Timms highlighted the new mood of social responsibility in the IT sector.

"Youngsters coming in are looking for rewarding careers but they also want to contribute to the wellbeing of society. The most able are asking such questions of firms," he said.

Timms added that broadband roll-out, now rapidly approaching the million mark in the UK and a top priority for the Department of Trade & Industry, will help to ensure that there is no digital divide.

"This autumn we will see the launch of a new broadband unit to aggregate demand in areas such as schools and hospitals," he said.

Computer Weekly is a strong Byte Night supporter, with editor Karl Schneider first sleeping out in 1998. He was joined by managing editor John Riley, who also participated last year.

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