ON Friday, October 3, I will spend the night sleeping rough in Holyrood Park. I will be joined by around 200 business and technology leaders from across Scotland for Byte Night
This annual fundraiser which supports youth homelessness services is run by charity Action for Children. We need readers to join us in this challenge, and help raise vital funds to protect the most vulnerable children and young people living in this country.
I have slept out five times, but I don’t know if I will ever get used to the cold, or how dark it can get in the middle of our capital city. But however tough – and wet and windy – Byte Night gets, as I climb into my sleeping bag I know it’s only a matter of hours until I can return home, turn on the heating, make myself a meal, and relax in a real bed. For the 12,000 homeless children and young people living in Scotland, this simply isn’t the case.
Well over a thousand people from across the UK will sleep out on Byte Night because they believe that all children and young people should have a safe place to call home – they shouldn’t be sofa surfing, they shouldn’t be in B&Bs, and they certainly shouldn’t be on the streets.
Last year we raised more than £1million – and this year we’re determined to beat that total. I have been lucky enough to visit some of Action for Children’s services, and I know the money raised makes a huge difference. It provides accommodation for children and young people who have nowhere else to go, food parcels and electricity cards for those who have been forced to live alone at an early age, and mediation to help deal with problems and keep families together.
This year’s Byte Night is less than two months away, but you can still sign up and have a bad night’s sleep for a good cause. To find out more, please visit bytenight.org.uk
Rhona Hutchon is director of recruitment specialists Harvey Nash Scotland