Sleep out to help homeless teens

Help the homeless
Help the homeless

A charity that helps homeless youngsters off the streets and into better lives is challenging people to sleep rough for a night.

Action for Children delivers services across the UK which support young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

This October, more than 1,500 people will take on the challenge of foregoing their bed for Byte Night - the UK’s biggest sponsored sleep out.

The money raised at this event will help to fund Action for Children services like The Canal Project, in Kirkintilloch, which provides accommodation for young people like Hayley Meechan who have nowhere else to go.

Hayley (19), from Kirkintilloch, was just 17 when she became homeless.

She said: “It’s really hard to go from living with your mum and not having to worry about anything, to being the person who’s responsible for everything.

“After I became homeless I got a room at Action for Children’s Canal service. I was there for a year and it was brilliant, they taught me so much. We did cooking and budgeting lessons, even lessons on how to use the washing machine.

“I’ve just moved into my own place. It was grotty at first, but I am painting and wallpapering and measuring for carpets. It’s stressful and lonely, doing it all by yourself, but I’m determined to make it look and feel like home.”

Ken Deeks, founder of Byte Night, who received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year, said: “This year around 1,500 people will take on the challenge of spending a night exposed to the elements for Byte Night. It is always cold, it’s often raining, and it’s really difficult. But it’s worth it. Last year we raised more than £1.1 million – money that makes a vital difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. There is still time to join us, so why not sign up now and sleep out?”

If you would like to find out more, visit bytenight.org.uk or email bytenight@actionforchildren.org.uk