Saturday, 5 October 2013

NI techies raise plight of youth homelessness at 'Byte Night' sleepout



Local techies swapped their smart apps for sleeping bags at the weekend as they joined in an open-air sleepout at the Belfast Activity Centre in a bid to raise awareness of youth homelessness. 

Dubbed ‘Byte Night’, more than 40 sleepers took part in the event (on Friday 04 October 2013) which saw the team braving the elements on behalf of the charity Action for Children. TV ‘mentalist’, and Byte Night Belfast patron, David Meade supplied entertainment on the evening while Basil McCrea MLA joined in for the full sleepout. 

Byte Night is a UK-wide campaign involving more than 1,000 sleepers across five UK locations – including Belfast. This year, organisers expect to raise at least £1,000,000 across all events.

Homelessness has a devastating effect on the life chances of young people. Statistics reveal 1 in 3 will attempt suicide, 1 in 7 have been physically or sexually assaulted and up to half have no qualifications. Across Northern Ireland, Action for Children helps over 5,000 young people and their families through mentoring, counselling and help in gaining skills to turn their lives around. 

Anyone who would like to ‘chip in’ and support the charity effort can donate at www.actionforchildren.org.uk/donate or by texting ‘BYTE’ to 70800.