A personal account of Byte Night from John Pepper Managing Director of Managed 24/7
On Friday 2nd October 2015, I joined four Managed 24/7 employees to sleep on the streets at Byte Night in aid of Action for Children.
This is my personal account of what I can only describe now as an incredibly humbling experience.
I think it would be fair to admit that having never slept outside (other than in a tent) the whole team (including myself) were filled with more than a little trepidation. We had heard great things about previous experiences and were excited but kept asking ourselves - would we freeze? could we possibly sleep? Was this going to be the best thing or worst thing we had ever done?
It didn't help that we were yet to hit our target of £2,500. By the morning of the 2nd October we had only raised £1,600.
With all of this in mind, the Milton Keynes team met up with our Manchester office and we all made our way to the venue dressed as Kermit, Zippy, Superman, Batman and Ted (yep thats me!). The guys had been working massively hard getting extra sponsorship and by the time we arrived at the venue we had hit of target - raising £2,500.
The welcome and the evening involved great food from @nandos and a raffle. However the part in which this turned from fun charity work to reality was hearing the stories of the children we were helping.
Their stories on stage were incredibly humbling and brought a tear to all of our eyes. From that moment we knew we weren't turning back. We were going to do this and do everything we could to raise as much as we could now and the future
At 11pm we went onto the street which was on the set of Coronation street. We took a quick look at the Rovers Return and then settled down outside the Kabin. The cobblestones were uncomfortable but after an hour or so of general chit chat we all fell off to sleep.
All of us had sleeping bags and had left most of our belongings on the pavement. It got very cold through the night and each of us woke up at various times with cold faces.
By 5.50am we were woken with coffees and teas. Thats when the realisation kicked in that all of the belongings we had outside of the sleeping bag was soaking wet with dew. Something I had never considered.
We were incredibly humbled by the whole experience. Being young, on the streets without a sleeping bag and without access to luxuries like tea, coffee and a warm sleeping bag would be so difficult. Luckily we had no rain and the temperature did not drop below freezing had that been the case I am not sure what we would have done.
On the train back home we all reflected on what we had achieved. Our total had increased to £2,655 and we were so proud to have been involved in such an incredible event for such a good cause.
We would like to thank @ByteNight @actnforchildren and everybody who look after these children every night. We will continue to support you in every way we can.
Until next year....