27th August 2020

Civica people boycott their beds

We speak to two colleagues who slept out for Action for Children

Virtual fundraising has proved to be entirely possible while COVID-19 lingers. For Action for Children, its annual sleep-out Byte Night was swapped for a more accessible sleep-out ‘Boycott your Bed’. Supporters simply had to swap their beds for somewhere else in their homes or gardens. An entertaining, interactive live feed spurred on further fundraising. 

Altogether, supporters raised over £227,000 for the thousands of young homeless people and their families across the UK. Vulnerable families are even more at risk as a result of the pandemic and recession so the support Action for Children provides is more needed than ever.

Civica has long supported the charity’s fundraising events, with many employees keen to join the sleep-out this year. 

Two colleagues in Civica’s Marketing team share their thoughts.

Lisa Parry, Head of Marketing at Civica, would tend to join Byte Night in Birmingham, whereas for graduate Myah Jagjivan, this is the first Action for Children fundraiser she’s been a part of.

Why did you sign up for the sleep-out?

Lisa: Hearing the young people who have benefitted from Action for Children talk at Byte Night has always been incredibly humbling. The realities of sleeping in a churchyard in a buzzing city centre helped me to understand just how vulnerable rough sleepers really are. I was really worried that having lost vital funding channels this year – coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable families – the charity would not be able to continue its vital work. So, I took part and got all my family and friends to sponsor me!

Myah: I signed up because I thought, at a time like this, I’m so lucky and grateful to be able to isolate in a safe and loving environment. The pandemic has just made the cause even more prevalent for me.

Where did you sleep? Did you get any of your household involved too?

Myah: My parents and I had another family join us and we set up two tents in the garden and made our own mini campsite!

Lisa: Given the inclement weather, we decided to sleep in a tent. We borrowed a tiny kid’s tent and I convinced my husband, and my dog, to join me. It was funny as my husband is six feet tall and the tent was much smaller! Meanwhile my dog is only small but decided to stretch across half the tent width! I allowed myself the luxury of an inflatable mattress… this deflated shortly after we bedded down for the night. Still, I was acutely aware it was for one night. I had warm clothes, the safety of a loved one near me and a private and secure space to sleep – real rough sleepers have none of these luxuries.

How did you find the event?

Lisa: While it wasn’t the true experience of Byte Night, I really enjoyed the spirit of community that we had via tech. It was very inclusive for families, there was online entertainment and we had a Civica sleepers WhatsApp group where we shared photos and generally kept each other entertained. It was great to feel connected with a group of fundraisers around the country. 

Myah: There was clearly a great effort in terms of virtual entertainment for all ages, and a lot of build-up. I thought it worked well and there should be fewer excuses to take part in your own house/virtually!

Any other thoughts?

Myah: Overall I had a really good evening spent out of my comfort zone, for an incredible cause. I’m proud to be part of a company that brings colleagues together at such a strange time to still help the less fortunate.

Lisa: I was really delighted with how much was raised by colleagues who sponsored us too. 

You can continue to sponsor the Civica team here.