We’ve all had them. Bubble bursting moments that bring you back to earth with an overwhelming dose of reality. One such moment was watching a short video of a girl, well young woman, who was asked if she could ever remember being happy as a child. She didn’t answer but the blank, almost expressionless look on her face said it all. Her parents were (are) addicts; hooked on heroin and alcohol. She grew up, probably loved in some way but emotionally neglected and without most of the things you’ll remember having as a child. This is the UK and not an untypical scenario. Across the country there are thousands of young people driven into homelessness – ordinary kids from seemingly ordinary families that now face the trauma of fending and fighting for themselves through no real fault of their own.
I’ve seen that video a few times since and it still gets me. Happily though, the subject has a future, a flat, a job, friends and a support network that continues to help her grow and develop as a young person. There are programmes and projects up and down the country run by the charity Action for Children. In this jubilee year, HRH the Queen is the charity’s patron. Action for Children works directly with homeless young people. There are no quick wins or fixes. Affected individuals are long term projects. Time’s a healer but the road to a better life can be a long one.
Action for Children is not about a bed for the night, a hot meal and mugs of tea, it’s helping neglected kids get back on their feet, learning the life skills that we all take for granted and their parents never taught. Action for Children gives young people the ability to be independent, to gain confidence and their self-esteem. It’s tough work but a worthy cause with many happy outcomes.
‘Byte Night’ supports Action for Children and has done for 14 years, raising millions of pounds to fund projects across the UK. It was originally about senior executives in the IT industry sleeping rough on the streets of London for just one night. The aim was to raise funds through sponsoring your Chief Exec who hopefully experienced what life’s like on the pavements and doorways of our capital city.
Today there are four annual Byte Night ‘sleep outs’, London, Reading, Cambridge and Edinburgh. This year hundreds of people will be sleeping out on 5th October and like last year, Volume will be taking part. We have lofty ambitions to raise £10K by running a number of fund raising events and initiatives – bring your dog to work day, pub quizzes, auctions and even a Chief Executive car wash day. Yes for a suitable donation, Volume staff can have their cars cleaned by the boss for one day only.
The Volume Team, Aidan, Chris, Debra, Gemma, Hannah, Joe, Katy, Laura, Lawrence, Miles, Renee and Zoe will be spending a hopefully not too cold October night under the stars in Reading’s Forbury Gardens. We hope our colleagues, business partners, clients, friends and family support our efforts and help us to help Action for Children change lives for the better.
For more information on Byte Night www.bytenight.org.uk and to donate please visit our Virgin Money Giving page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/VolumeByteNight.