Opinion

The power of a million What is £1 million worth?

What is £1 million worth? At present it will get you an 86th of Welsh footballer Gareth Bale. That is approximately an ear lobe.

Four years ago it would have bought you one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s ear lobes and his left nostril.

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Bale’s ear lobes have only had one season in the Champions League, whereas Ronaldo’s nostril had already smelled victory in the same competition when he moved to Real Madrid in 2009. It may even have touched the trophy, although that is mere speculation.

The world of professional football relinquished its grasp of the value of money a long time ago. For a more accurate understanding of the value of a million pounds, we should ignore the overinflated price tags of Premier League footballers and instead look at what 1650 individuals can raise when armed with nothing more than a sleeping bag. A much more sensible approach.

This year Byte Night, the UK’s largest charity sleep-out event, is hosting overnight sleep-out events in Belfast, Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Reading in an effort to raise more than £1 million in one night. We’ve invited the best and the brightest from the technology and business community to join us for a night exposed to the elements and so far more than 1000 hardy individuals have signed up. But we’re not done there. We want another 650 to come join the fight against youth homelessness in the UK.     

We’ve invited the best and the brightest from the technology and business community to join us for a night exposed to the elements

By supporting Byte Night you can help Action for Children to tackle the root causes of youth homelessness. Action for Children works with young people across the UK, such as those leaving the care system, young people at risk of family breakdown and those who are already without a safe place to sleep.

Action for Children projects across the UK provide vulnerable young people with the support they need to help get their lives back on track, from emergency accommodation and longer-term supported living solutions to mentoring and guidance. They give young people the space and security they need to work out what they want from their future and help them get there, steering them away from the dangers of a life spent on the streets.

Each year this incredibly worthwhile cause transforms mere IT workers into some of the most dedicated and creative fundraisers you could hope to meet. So far they have raised more than £100,000 by swimming round islands, climbing mountains, hosting dinners, racing go-karts and playing football. And that’s before anyone has dusted off their sleeping bag.  Since it began back in 1998, Byte Night has raised over £5,000,000, with £960,000 raised last year alone.

So perhaps that’s the truest measure of the value of £1 million. It takes the time, determination and brain power of 1650 people to raise it and has the power to change the lives of vulnerable young people from all over the UK.

Sign up to sleep-out now at www.bytenight.org.uk.

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This was first published in September 2013

 

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