Businessman Mike Hall is keeping a close eye on the long range weather forecast – as he prepares to sleep under the stars to raise money for charity.
Mike, 47, managing director of Holmfirth marketing company Wrights, expects to spend at least 12 hours sleeping rough with hundreds of others, to help raise £1m to help vital Action for Children projects.
Last year the event raised £950,000 throughout the country, thanks to hundreds of people who took part in Byte Night.
It is now the leading charity event for individuals and teams from the IT, innovation and technology sector and hopes are high that this year’s event – which will be staged on October 4 at towns and cities across the country – will swell funds to hit the magic million.
“I’ve always had a bed to go home to,” said Mike. “I really don’t know the meaning of sleeping rough on hard pavements and in all weathers with just a cardboard box for protection. This will bring it home to me what it means to live like this and how these funds are so desperately needed.”
Mike, who has two grown-up children and lives at Marsh, was invited to take part in the event by one of his clients, Dell Software Group.
He will join hundreds of volunteers at the Reading leg of the giant fundraiser. Other sleep-out locations include Manchester, Birmingham, Cambridge, London, Edinburgh and Belfast.
Action for Children supports vulnerable and neglected children and young people in the UK.
A spokesman for the charity said that 100,000 young people found themselves homeless each year.
He said: “People like Mike will be helping to tackle the root causes of homelessness among young people.
“Vulnerable families, those in care and children dealing with abuse and neglect will all benefit from the funds raised.
“With this kind of support, Action for Children can be there for them, for as long as it takes.”
Mike is busy collecting sponsors – and preparing for the event. To contribute, go to www.justgiving.com/mike-hall8
He said: “This is a vital source of funds for the charity and I am delighted to have the chance to support it. But I must admit I am a little nervous about what sleeping out will actually feel like.”
The only means of comfort are sleeping bags, a plastic sheet, a night cap and a shared umbrella.
“I doubt there will be much in the way of creature comforts but, then, that’s the point,” said Mike. “I am sure the support of all those taking part will help to get us through what promises to be a long night.”