Local business leaders from Version 1, MCS Group, BT and Civica launch children’s charity fundraiser Boycott your Bed to support families as cost-of-living crisis continues.

Action for Children Northern Ireland are have announced the return of their corporate fundraising event Boycott Your Bed, for the third year running, following the successful launch in 2020. On Friday 7th October, they are inviting businesses from around Northern Ireland to ditch the duvet and make a difference to their local communities.

The Northern Ireland event will take place outside Stormont Estate, and Action for Children say they are “thrilled by the continued support from many enthusiastic businesses across the country, who are part of the Boycott Your Bed Board in Northern Ireland”.

Led by Chair, Marguerite Clarke from Version 1 and Board members from BT, MCS Group, Civica, Danske Bank, Lyle English Associates, Northern Ireland Civil Service & Liberty IT, the board are currently recruiting for businesses to join them at Stormont for a night under the stars after dinner, a quiz and hearing from local young people helped by Action for Children.

With nine children in every UK school class of 30 living in poverty, sliding into a sleeping bag can make a significant impact for those in need. The money raised would go towards the charity’s continued vital services; ensuring children have the basics – like warm clothes, hot meals and a proper bed, as well as mental health support for vulnerable young people and families.

Chair Marguerite Clarke, Business Development Manager, at Version 1 said: “Despite coming through the shocks of the pandemic, families in Northern Ireland continue to struggle. As the cost of living continues to increase, Action for Children’s services are needed now more than ever. It’s just one night for us but could make a huge difference to a child who needs support.”

Claire Kelly, Family Support Worker at Northern Family Support Hub, explained that support is increasingly needed, “We’ve seen the numbers of families requiring support continue to rise, with an influx coming as the cost-of-living continued to increase. Families had already struggled with the pandemic, but things are getting increasingly difficult as costs continue to rise.”

“We’re supporting families who are having to choose between eating a meal or paying for oil. Many parents were going hungry so that they can feed their children. With the help from local businesses, we can support more families to access emotional and practical support and be directed to a wide range of support services within their local areas.”

Regional Fundraising Manager, Action for Children, Cheryl Brown said: “We are delighted to welcome so many local businesses willing to forgo a night of comfort to sleep on the historic Stormont Estate, no matter what the Northern Ireland weather may bring.”

“These families suffered disproportionately throughout the pandemic and continue to do so as the cost-of-living crisis escalates. Boycotting your bed means Action for Children can continue to work across the community to ensure children have the safe and happy childhood they deserve.”

Action for Children says the charity focuses on “stepping in early”, making help available so young people do not have to reach crisis point. The charity’s services reached 15,589 children, young people and their families over the last 12 months.

Companies can sign up for Boycott your Bed by visiting boycottyourbed.co.uk or emailing cheryl.brown@actionforchildren.org.uk for further information.

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