Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham stressed the importance of ending youth homelessness for good when he spoke at the Byte Night event in MediaCityUK.
The sixth annual Byte Night North West took place on Friday Evening to raise money for children’s charity Action for Children.
Andy Burnham came along to show his support for the event as ending homelessness is his “personal passion”: “It is a personal passion of mine that no person should spend a night without a roof over their head but particularly no young person so I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who is taking part.”
“Byte Night works to support some of the 83,000 young people a year who become homeless. Whatever our challenges as a country, we are rich enough to put a roof over every head every night of the week”
He also recently announced a new scheme which begins next month called ‘A Bed for a Night’: “From November, for this winter we will make a bed available for every rough sleeper in Greater Manchester which of course includes too many young people which are sadly still huddled in our doorways”. He went on to add that this is a big improvement to what is currently being offered.
Mr Burnham is confident that his target of 2020 to end rough sleeping is achievable: “There is a massive commitment from me and the Greater Manchester Authority to solve this and I am confident that we are at the for front to end rough sleeping and we won’t stop until we’ve solved this”
Over 190 business people from a variety of businesses such as Accenture, RBS, Barclays and BNY Mellon based across the North West, joined over 1,600 others in sleeping out across 12 locations up and down the country.
Individuals must have raised £500 for the charity in order to take part.
Chair of the North West Byte Night board, Jonathan Summerlin, Director at KPMG, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you and well done to everyone who braved the biting cold 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 vulnerable young people in the North Westfor whom this is impossible”.
Around 3,100 children from the North West are homeless and in temporary accommodation.
Homelessness is a big issue in Salford as the city has seen a 52% increase in people living on the streets or in places such as B&Bs.
In 2016-17 830 people were considered homeless however latest figures show there is now 1,035 considered homeless in Salford, 143 of those are aged 16-24.
CEO of Action for Children Julie Bentley said: “We’re hoping to raise £150,000 from the evening to help fund services in the area.”