Byte Night 2018: Reflections on a memorable night

By October 10, 2018 Blog No Comments

Friday 5 October saw five of Team Tisski head to Birmingham to raise funds for Action for Children’s Byte Night. Byte Night is the UK’s largest national corporate sleepout event, with teams from the technology and business services sleeping out to raise vital funds to prevent youth homelessness. A campaign that has been running for 21 years and growing each year.

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Team Tisski – L-R Mandy, Katie, Kelly, Darren, Tracey

The evening started off well, with fundraising games, auctions and some Thai Green Curry to fill us up. We heard from young adults who had been made homeless for many reasons including domestic violence, sexual abuse and the death of a parent. We listened to how Action for Children had helped them and how their lives had changed since they then. We also heard from Izzy, a 15 year old who had suffered from anxiety at secondary school.  So much so it stopped her eating at school because she thought her friends would laugh at her. She had then gone on to become a young people’s ambassador for Action for Children to help other children in her situation. The stories we heard (and the bravery of the people actually telling them to us) was a great start to help us understand why we were about to head out into cold, rainy city centre and attempt to sleep in it.

 

“The best bit for me was listening to Izzy, the Young Ambassador. The way she spoke about her personal circumstances and how Action for Children had helped made sleeping in the pouring rain worthwhile.”

Darren Bassett, Head of Digital Transformation

 

“Best bit was fundraising and hearing from the children who benefited from Action for Children’s support.”

Mandy Kaur, Junior CRM Consultant

 

So we headed out

We loaded on the bus and drove to the centre of Birmingham. Unloading at a church where we were stopping for the night. Even though the churchyard was surrounded by bars and clubs, no amount of preparation or drinking could have helped us when it came to finally settling down to sleep.
 
The weather hadn’t looked too bad in the run up to the event. Temperatures were quite mild and only 50% chance of rain. But, as always, the forecast began telling us rain was very likely throughout the night…and it was right. It rained from 11pm nonstop and got heavier as the night went on. When you only have a sleeping bag and a foil blanket to keep you warm and dry, everything suddenly becomes a lot less fun. As soon as your clothing touched a puddle your arm got wet. Then your sleeping bag got wet. Then, after trying to move to avoid that puddle you inevitably put your other arm in another puddle and so it went on. Being surrounded by bars with late licences also meant that it was always noisy. The screams, shouts and fights breaking out made us all feel very vulnerable, despite the fact we were lucky enough to have security with us.

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“The worst bit was waking up at 5am in a soaking wet sleeping bag… after the event I felt super grateful for having a roof over my head!”

Mandy Kaur, Junior CRM Consultant

 

“Great night, good company but from 3:00 in the morning it was sooooooooo cold…. but we did it for a fantastic charity…”

Tracey Morris, Senior Account Manager

 

“4am was the most relentless, depressing time, when it started to absolutely chuck it down and it was impossible to keep anything dry.”

Katie Shacklock, Marketing Executive

“The worst part for me was actually packing up – not because I was sad to be going home, but because I was cold, wet and tired. Imagine what it must be like doing that day in, day out.”

Darren Bassett, Head of Digital Transformation

 

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Home time

The night will definitely not be something any of us will forget any time soon. The train journey home definitely gave us time to reflect on what we were going home to. Our beds were comfy. The heating was on when we got home and hot showers were available to make us feel semi-alive again. Yes, we were tired and cold but we were also extremely lucky.
 
If you’d like to donate to this amazing cause then please head over to our JustGiving page here. If you’d also like to find out more about getting involved next year, follow the link to Byte Night’s website here.

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