Victoria Tower Gardens next to the House of Lords is the venue for this year's Byte Night charity sleep-out by...
senior IT professionals.
The event, which takes place on 22 September, last year raised £230,000 to help children's charity NCH. A wide cross-section of the IT industry, about 250 people, takes part each year. This year participants have to commit to raising £2,000 each, or, if in a company team, the minimum per team expected is £5,000.
Since it started in 1998 Byte Night, which is supported by Computer Weekly, has raised more than £1.3m for NCH to help the estimated 100,000 vulnerable children who do not have permanent homes in the UK.
Due to local authority matched funding, every £1 raised by the 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 NCH's homelessness projects open for one week.
Byte Night is organised by Ken Deeks, director at PR company Kaizo, and James Bennet, director at Ernst & Young. Byte Night board members include 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 on the night.
Byte Night aims to recruit both old hands and new sleepers this year. Sleeping out overnight on the Embankment on Byte Night in relative security and convivial company is some way from the real homeless experience. However, it is a positive gesture by some of the most successful people in one of the most dynamic sectors of UK business to highlight what homeless people have to endure. And this year they aim to raise about £295,000.