For one night on 5 October 2007, I’ll be giving up my warm duvet and comfortable house as part of Byte Night 2007 – the IT industry’s annual sleep out in support of young people who are coping with life after care or facing homelessness.
I’ll be joining around 250 IT professionals and senior executives sleeping out next to London’s City Hall and Tower Bridge to raise money and highlight the problem of youth homelessness.
Given that we live in one of the world’s richest nations, I find the following statistics to be pretty shocking:
- An estimated 77,000 children and young people aged under 18 run away overnight each year in the UK.
- There are an estimated 32,000 homeless 16-21 year-olds in Britain.
- A third of young homeless people have tried to commit suicide.
- Each year, 10,000 young people are physically hurt or sexually assaulted whilst sleeping rough.
- Most runaways are aged 13-15 but a quarter are under 11.
By joining in on Byte Night, I can help to make a difference – with your support.
The cold, rough, night in London will all be worthwhile if I succeed in raising Â£2,000 for NCH, the children’s charity. Since its inception in 1998, Byte Night has raised over Â£1.5m for NCH youth homeless projects.
Please sponsor me by visiting my online fundraising page at http://www.justgiving.com/markwilson-bytenight07. You can pay by credit or debit card, and the money will go directly to NCH, the children’s charity. Where supporters are UK taxpayers, the charity will automatically receive 28% extra in Gift Aid, which makes Justgiving the most efficient way of sponsoring me.
(Normal technology-focused blogging will resume shortly but I wanted to highlight this important issue – in any case, as Byte Night is exclusively for IT professionals, I think that falls within my technology remit!)