As the cold winter months are drawing closer, hundreds and thousands of children are homeless on the UK streets.
With warnings of an emerging childhood crisis due to drastic reductions to children services, these numbers are only going to increase.
More than 100 businesses people from across the North East came together to sleep out in single figure temperatures to raise money to help vulnerable youths.
Raising money for Action for Children, a charity that helps vulnerable children and young people, the group took part in the fourth Byte Night North East on Friday, October 4.
Research from Action for Children reveals that poverty and homelessness is in the top three current events that children in the North East are concerned about.
In its 150th year, Action for Children warns of an emerging childhood crisis, with young people facing unparalleled social pressures at the same time as a drastic reduction in children’s services.
Action for Children’s National Director of England, John Egan, said: “We want every child to have a safe and happy childhood, but sadly too many young people are falling into homelessness which leaves lasting scars on their mental health, education and relationships with friends and family.
“Our critical work with vulnerable young people and families helps prevent the tragedy of homelessness by tackling the issues that can lead to young people ending up without a roof over their heads.
“The country is facing a crisis of childhood and every penny raised from Byte Night helps Action for Children support some of our most vulnerable children and families.”
Organisers are on target to raise a record-breaking £1 million nationally in support of Action for Children services, including the North East Independent Visitor’s project which provides volunteer mentors for young people in residential care or foster homes.
With more than 110 others simultaneously sleeping out across 11 locations up and down the UK, the Byte Night sleep outs are helping to tackle poverty and homelessness of vulnerable people.
Chairman of the North East Byte Night board, James Robbins, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you and well done to every single sleeper who braved the elements to raise funds for vulnerable children.
“It was a big challenge, but in the morning, everyone went home to their warm beds – and there are too many young people in the North East who are living without this choice.
“No child or young person should have to face the trauma of homelessness. This is a critical issue in our region, as it is across the country, and Byte Night is a chance to support some of the young people in our society who need it most.
“One night really can make a lifetime’s difference and funds raised will help us support children and young people to have a safe and happy childhood.”