What if I want to sleep-out but may struggle to raise the target amount?
While the fundraising target may seem challenging, it is surprisingly achievable and we find that most Byte Night sleepers have no problem in raising this amount, especially as a team effort. Experience shows that the earlier you start your fundraising activities, the easier it is to fundraise and the more time you have to encourage your friends and contacts to sponsor you online. Many people reach their target much more quickly and easily than they expect.
The most effective way to fundraise is through setting up an online fundraising page for your team, such as through VirginMoneyGiving. We have dedicated Byte Night events on VirginMoneyGiving for you to set up your own page and start fundraising. Remember that most online donations are eligible for Gift-Aid (apart from those given from a company) which will add up to 25% extra in donations, making it even easier to reach your target.
In addition, the Byte Night sleeper section of the website has lots of resources to help you fundraise http://www.bytenight.org.uk/sleepers.cfm such as:
Don’t forget that the Byte Night team at Action for Children are always happy to speak to or meet with sleeper teams to talk about Byte Night and help to encourage fundraising ideas and activities. The Team are happy to give company presentations to encourage your colleagues to support you.
Should I sleep out as an individual or as a team?
We find that many people enjoy taking part in Byte Night as a team, as it gives you the chance to fundraise together, gives you a wider group of friends and contacts to sponsor you, and is a great opportunity for team-building. Sleeper teams can be made up of friends, company colleagues or a mix, and teams must have a maximum of 5 sleepers. Of course you are welcome to bring several teams from one company, and we often have competition within companies as to which team can raise the most!
If you choose to take part as an individual then you will still receive lots of support on your fundraising from Action for Children, and we can also arrange for groups of individual sleepers to get together before the event to meet friendly faces and share their fundraising ideas together.
Do I have to raise the full amount of fundraising before the night of Byte Night?
No, we understand that some of the sponsorship that people receive comes in after the sleep-out itself, although we do anticipate that the majority of the fundraising is raised by the time you sleep-out. It is often very effective to email all of your contacts after the night to say that you have slept under the stars, and why not offer a breakfast meeting the following week with pastries to share the personal photos with your colleagues - many people find that you get lots more sponsorship as a result.
What will my money be used for?
The money raised at Byte Night goes towards Action for Children’s vital work to support vulnerable and neglected children and young people across the UK who are at risk of youth homelessness, helping to prevent them from ending up on the streets. Thanks to Byte Night, Action for Children will be able to help provide secure accommodation, education and training opportunities to young people most in need to help them achieve their potential. Early intervention can help to prevent youth homelessness by ensuring that young people across the UK are given the support they need before it’s too late. This includes working with the young people leaving the care system, giving them the practical and emotional support they need to make the transition to independent living and avoid life on the streets.
For more information on some of the projects that Byte Night has directly funded, and for personal stories for some of the young people supported by them, please visit the About section of the website.
What do I need to bring?
We will provide ground-sheets and plastic survival bags to all sleepers, plus a Wee Willy Winky hat and an umbrella to keep you warm and dry. All sleepers will need to bring their own sleeping bag and roll-mat (please note that inflatable mattresses are not allowed). Please note that sleepers will need to bring warm comfortable clothing to keep warm during the October night. You may wish to bring a pillow or extra blanket to make your night more comfortable. The evening reception has a secure cloak-room to store your sleeping-kit however this closes as you venture outside for the sleep-out. As such during the night itself you must keep all belongings with you and so we recommend that you don’t have any valuables.
What is the set-up of the evening?
Please note that only registered Byte Night sleepers are allowed to attend the reception as a thank you for your fundraising efforts. The evening begins with an indoor reception and speeches, including an opportunity to hear from the young people that we support and the wider work that Action for Children does to help prevent youth homelessness. We have a simple hot meal to set you up for the sleep-out, and there will also be a quiz and the opportunity to mix with your fellow sleepers. There will also be a raffle and live and silent auctions for you to win some great prizes. After the reception all sleepers head outside to the designated sleeping area to take their place under the stars. Hot drinks will be available throughout the night and toilets are available, however there are no showers. In the morning a simple breakfast will be provided to all sleepers, after which you are welcome to depart for home.
Can I bring personal valuables?
While most locations provide a cloak-room for your sleeping-kit during the indoor reception, sleepers are encouraged not to bring any valuables, as we can’t accept any responsibility for loss of damage of your possessions. As such we recommend that you keep all personal belongings with you at all times and leave the expensive gadgets at home.
What if it rains during the sleep-out?
The sleep-out enables Byte Night sleepers to experience a little of what it is like to be homeless, so that other don’t have to, and as such we provide umbrellas and survival bags for all sleepers to keep dry in case of rain. If however there is an emergency then we do have cover available.
Am I allowed to bring food and drink?
The reception includes simple hot food for all sleepers, and there is a cash bar available for those who wish to have a drink. As such no extra food or drink is allowed to be brought into the reception. However you are allowed to bring your own snacks to the sleep-out area. Please note that no glass (inc bottles) is allowed on the sleep-out site for health and safety reasons.