This article was originally posted on the Tech City UK website.
The UK’s tech world is an exciting place to be. Entrepreneurs, startups and digital businesses all play an integral part in a vibrant, innovative industry. Ideas are constantly imagined and made a reality, changing the lives of those who dreamt them up in the process. It’s a good feeling to be able to dream; to be hopeful and look forward to what the future holds. Some young people, however, don’t dare to dream.
This year there will be thousands of vulnerable young people who need help, shelter, food or just simply someone to talk to.
Byte Night is Action for Children‘s biggest annual fundraiser; a national ‘sleep-out’ event. Founded in 1998 and aimed at collaborating with the tech industry, Byte Night works to help some of the 80,000 young people who sleep rough in the UK every year. These people struggle to find shelter every night of the year.
We asks participants to sleep under the stars for just one night, in the process raising money for those who have no other choice. To date, the organisation has raised a phenomenal £7.2 million. Last year alone we raised over £1.1 million.
This money has enabled Action for Children to support numerous services around the UK – projects that have helped young people to not just get on the right track, but stay on it, too. These young people found themselves in a difficult situation through no fault of their own.
Breakdowns in family relationships, mental illness and abuse at home are all situations that can lead to homelessness. These are things that no one should go through alone – particularly at a young age. We believe that every child should have a safe and loving home.
One of the wonderful things about the tech industry is that it is constantly changing. When Byte Night started, it targeted the industry as we then knew it – huge companies such as Microsoft, Cisco and HP. But now those giant organisations don’t entirely make up the UK tech landscape; there’s a new technology ecosystem made up of startups and digital businesses. Compare the hustle and bustle of London’s Tech City to where it was a decade ago and the transformation is evident.
Byte Night wants to unite the tech world. We greatly value the continued support of the giant corporations that have helped us raise so much for those less fortunate than ourselves. But in order for us to grow, to help even more young people escape the desperate situations they find themselves in, we also need to work with the new kids on the block.
We want digital businesses and startups to bring their own unique and enthusiastic outlook to Byte Night. The more teams we have, the more money we raise. It really is that simple.
On 2nd October, thousands of people across the UK will sleep out so vulnerable young people don’t have to. One night, a lifetime’s difference.
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