Byte Night raises £340,000 for charity

Byte Night raises £340,000 for charity

IT industry rallies for homeless children

The ninth annual Byte Night has proved the most successful ever, raising £340,000 from online and on-the-night donations.

The IT industry's flagship fundraising event took place on 5 October and saw 270 people sleeping out overnight at Potters Field in London to support National Children's Homes (NCH).

The charity fights homelessness among young people, and £175,000 of the money raised has already been allocated to 17 care projects across the UK.

As well as members from all sectors of the IT industry, participants included Martin Linton, MP for Battersea, and actresses Lindsey Coulson and Jenny Agutter, who slept out for the eighth time.

Other supporters included style guru Trinny Woodall and Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes, while Sian Lloyd provided a weather report on the evening.

"From start to finish, this was the most unbelievable team effort," said Ken Deeks, co-founder of Byte Night.

"If we can achieve this level of support in year nine, just imagine what can be achieved in our tenth anniversary year."

The teams, which included representation from Dell, BT, HP and Barclays Capital, raised an average of £4,900 each, with individual sleepers averaging just over £1,600. Dell and BT were among the biggest fundraisers with over £14,000 each.

"What amazed me was the team sprit and that Byte Night is attracting interest from far and wide, not just from the industry which wholeheartedly supports the idea," said James Bennet, Byte Night co-founder and director of technology at Ernst & Young.

"The event just gets bigger and better year on year, and the allocation of the funds raised is so transparent, it is impossible not to feel that the time is well spent.

"This industry should be very proud of what it has achieved. On behalf of the Byte Night board, I thank everyone who has become part of this fantastic annual event."
Agreement about the success of this year's ByteNight was unanimous. Nick Giles, UK managing director at PR firm Text 100, and Byte Night board member and sleeper, said: "Byte Night is a great way for the IT industry to come together in support of a very worthwhile cause and my team loves taking part every year.

"It is amazing to think that just a few hundred like-minded people can make such a huge difference. I look forward to repeating the experience again in 2008."