That sound you can hear is the clock ticking down on your chance to register for this year’s Byte Night sleep out.
The annual fundraiser from Action for Children helps the charity support vulnerable children across the UK, including tackling youth homelessness, and it’s not too late for you to do your bit. The event takes place on Friday 4 October at 11 locations around the country, and the Byte Night website has all the information you need.
The charity is warning of an emerging crisis of childhood in the UK and official figures show there are currently 126,000 children homeless and living in temporary accommodation, with many more young people sleeping rough. Even if you can't sleep out this year, logging on and donating could make all the difference to the life chances of these young people currently facing crisis point.
Alastair Brown, exec chairman of DTSquared, and a Byte Night veteran who first slept out over 12 years ago, told The Reg:
"An old boss of mine asked for help starting a team up and I thought it sounded like fun. On the night itself we heard from a young man who had suffered some trauma in his childhood – events not dissimilar to something I had gone through myself – but for him it had resulted in him dropping out of full-time education, losing contact with his family and ending up sleeping rough on the streets.
"The support of Action for Children had got him back on his feet to such an extent that he was about to go to university – some two or three years behind his peers, admittedly, but he was going. It was then that I realised just how crucial it was for all children to be safe and supported through these important years and how quickly if that safety and support isn't there, things can reach a crisis point from which there is no going back."
The idea of Byte Night took root in the tech community, and though it has grown and branched out into different industries, it remains a fixture in the calendar for El Reg.
Every year I find the journey home after sleeping out hugely emotional as I think what it would actually be like if I had to sleep out again, if I had to spend my day finding something to eat, trying to catch up on the sleep I didn't have last night. No young person should have to go through that in Britain in 2019; all children should have the chance to have a safe and happy childhood. That's why I'll be at Byte Night this year and why I would encourage you and your colleagues to sign up too and help make a difference for young homeless people across the UK.
If you want to join Alastair and all the other brave souls sleeping out this year, make sure you register at www.bytenight.org.uk. You'll get access to a fundraising pack to help you raise those vital donations and details of events that happen on the night itself. Before you head out into the cold, depending on your location you'll get the chance to do some networking, take part in a quiz, raffle or even a pizza auction. ®