More than 90 experts from businesses in Edinburgh and across Scotland took part in Byte Night.
The UK’s largest sleep-out, which took place in Charlotte Square, aims to raise money for youth services run by Action for Children Scotland.
Companies including LogicNow, FanDuel, Cirrus Logic, the Student Loans Company and Taupo Consulting Limited bedded down for the night to help ensure vulnerable young people in Scotland have a safe and loving place to call home.
Byte Night Scotland is now in its ninth year and simultaneous events took place in London, Manchester, Belfast, Cambridge, Reading, Bristol and Birmingham, with over 1,400 people sleeping out across the UK.
Action for Children hopes Byte Night will raise over £1.3 million to support its work with vulnerable children, young people and families including New Horizons in Haddington, which provides accommodation for homeless young people.
Before the sleep out by Social Bite provided a meal to participants – which gives all profits to good causes and has a team of staff that 1 in 4 are formerly homeless.
Three young people – Zoe, Sean and Alex – who have benefited from Action for Children Scotland’s services also addressed the attendees sharing stories on their experiences.
Dr Alistair Forbes, General Manager at LogicNow and co-chair of the Byte Night Scotland committee, said: “Byte Night Scotland is now in its ninth year and our new city centre location helped to raise the profile of the event and make it a night to remember.
“Although it was a hard night it was made easier by a strong sense of camaraderie - the difference for those of us that took part, we return to warm homes, full fridges and cosy beds in the morning.
“For many young people living in Scotland this simply isn’t the case. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the young people that Action for Children Scotland supports and hear their inspiring stories first-hand. They often run away from abusive homes but they don’t want to be on their own. Every year, I feel proud as more and more money is raised to provide more support, which can really help
put their lives back on track. One night really does make a lifetime’s difference.”
Elaine Webster, Regional Visual Manager M&S Scotland East, said: “I’ve been doing Byte Night since it started in Edinburgh. It was my sister that got me involved and this is my eighth year of doing it. In fact, it’s through Byte Night that I met my partner. I’m proud to be involved in a project that helps take children off the streets.”
Sharon Forder, Project Manager in Digital Team at RBS, said: “This was my first night participating in Byte Night. We had a team of ten RBS Night Owls sleeping out for the night. Our fundraising went really with some fantastic donations.
“Byte Night is such a good chance to make a real difference to young people’s lives. Being able to participate, and for the rest of the team to participate, is a fantastic opportunity and it has been
great for us by getting us together as a team and have a good night with great food while raising money for a good cause.
“It is one night for us but that one night will make us more humble about what we have in our own lives and it makes me realise just how fortunate I am.”