On Friday 5th October 2018, Team Eyecademy joined over 150 sleepout participants in cold and windy Blythswood Square in Glasgow, as part of Action for Children’s Byte Night sleepout in Scotland West.

Beginning with a fundraising event at 200SVS, the Byte Night team were given an insight into the stories of some of the young people whom Action for Children have helped over the years. Their accounts of the tragic circumstances that led them to become homeless deeply moved the audience, and reminded us all of why the flagship fundraising event was so important.

After a warm meal and a little more fundraising, the ‘sleepers’ were then taken to Blythswood Square for the main event. Equipped with a foil survival bag, hand warmers and an umbrella, along with their sleeping bags and mats, we bedded down for the night in 3-degree weather.

While some of the team slept soundly, most members of our team of 8 struggled to get even a moments rest. Business Development Manager Lauren Spark, Data Scientist Kathryn McCrindle and Marketing Manager Grace Cheah were all first-time ‘sleepers’ at Byte Night this year, and here is how they found the experience:

“For me the experience was overwhelming. I already had a good understanding of the work that Action for Children provides, but it didn’t really hit home until the night. I was talking to Marc French outside for quite a while about how fantastic the cause was and the difference that Action for Children make to peoples’ lives, and we were already about 10mins in before it dawned on me that Marc had been through the programme himself. To hear such a young lad talking about all the things he does to give back (because the programme changed his life) was humbling to say the least. Not only has it changed his life for the better, he is now going above and beyond to give back.

Yeah it was cold, it was noisy, the light pollution made it difficult to sleep but that was for ONE MEASLY NIGHT, where all I had to do was remind myself I would be home safe and sound in a matter of hours… bit different!” Lauren Spark

Business Development Manager, Eyecademy

“The thing that was getting me through the cold and the noise and the lack of sleep was the fact that I could get up in the morning and go back to my own cosy bed at home. These children don’t have that luxury and have to go through this every single night, with the added difficulties of feeling unsafe and completely alone. Marc’s story on the night about an almost fatal unprovoked attack while he was sleeping really got to me, and it’s fantastic to see what Action for Children have done for him.” Kathryn McCrindle

Data Scientist & Consultant, Eyecademy

“I was one of the lucky few to sleep mostly throughout the night, despite the horrendous noise and cold wind. However, having a somewhat restful sleep was a bittersweet moment. When we set out as a team to sleep out, we were extremely prepared for our mission. We were well fed, kept warm and dry, and had facilities on hand if we needed anything more on the night.

The children that need help from Action for Children are faced with exceptional challenges that they cope with alone, with leaving home often their only option to survive. These children would dream of the luxuries that we had that evening to cope with sleeping out, which makes fundraising to provide support all the more important. Not only has this experiences given me a new appreciation for the privilege that I live in, but it has reminded of the importance of helping others, who find themselves in terrible circumstances beyond their control.” Grace Cheah

Marketing Manager, Eyecademy

Combining the fundraising efforts from sleepers and activities across all 12 locations, Byte Night has raised over £852,000 to allow Action for Children to continue to provide support to help alleviate and eradicate youth homelessness. Despite this monumental result however, there is still some way to go to reach their target.

If you would like to still support Team Eyecademy after their successful sleepout, our JustGiving page is still open for donations here:

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Lastly, we wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to our fundraiser over the past few weeks. Without your support, we would not have achieved the fantastic result that we did to help those in our community who need it most. In addition to Eyecademy’s friends and family, we thank our partners at Cathcart Associates, Exactaprint, and our neighbours at 201 West George Street! Together, we can make a difference in our community.

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