James Rigby, Chief Executive of SCC, Europe’s largest technology solutions provider, has helped charity Action for Children to launch Byte Night, a sponsored sleep out that raises funds to help tackle youth homelessness in the Midlands. The event will take place on 4th October in St Paul’s Square, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.
The launch was held on 8th May at the exclusive boutique hotel Mallory Court, near Leamington Spa and was attended by business professionals from the Midlands IT community. This is the first year that Byte Night has taken place in the Midlands, and a fund raising target of £100,000 has been set.
With 100,000 young people estimated to be homeless in the UK last year, the event encourages teams from the technology sector and supporting organisations to come together and spend a night exposed to the elements raising funds to tackle the root causes of youth homelessness.
James Rigby said: “For any young person to be homeless is a tragedy and I was shocked and moved when I heard some of their stories. But I was also inspired by the work that Action for Children is doing and learning about difference the money from Byte Night has made in other regions. And that is why SCC has got involved.
“Just £5 could pay for emergency overnight support for a young person living on the streets and £600 could help Action for Children keep the doors of one of its youth homelessness projects open for one day.
“That is why we are challenging our SCC employees and other companies from the technology sector in the Midlands to sign up for Byte Night and join us in St Paul’s Square and help us raise some money.”
Laurena De Bello, Action for Children Fundraising Manager said: “Byte Night changes lives and we are so grateful to SCC for their support. The £1 million we aim to raise across all the Byte Night events this year will help to fund projects, which support young people who may find themselves without a home or people who care.
“When you learn that 100,000 young people are homeless in the UK every year and one in three will try to take their own life, sleeping outside for one night seems like a small commitment – but it really can make such a big difference. We would like invite to companies and organisations to join SCC and the 1500 others across the UK, to sleep out against youth homelessness on 4th October.”
For the past 16 years Action for Children has run events in different regions called Byte Night, where IT and technology companies join together in a sponsored sleep out. Over the years a total of £5.2 million has been raised and in 2012 1000 slept out and raised £950,000.
The Action for Children charity supports and speaks out for the UK’s most vulnerable and neglected children and young people. They have a range of projects and services across the Midlands including adoption and fostering, family support services and specialist schools.