back to article Reg reader Regina is doing Byte Night - and so should you

A trio of plucky Reg fans from Shepherd’s bush are braving the mean streets of London next month to raise money for Byte Night - and you should really join them. Regina Bluman, marketing manager at OryxAlign, signed for this year’s Byte Night with two of her colleagues after seeing a tweet from The Register encouraging people …

Devil

Bah, Humbug

Whichever one you opt for, you’ll get a hot main meal, and the chance to network with your peers - including senior bods from some of the biggest companies in the UK - before bedding down for the night, before awaking to a cooked breakfast. Ground sheets and survival bags are provided, and if you need a night cap, there’s a cash bar.

Erm, how is that a sleep out? Sounds more like a Jolly. Albeit of a grim nature, with the constant risk of finding yourself downwind of a smoker, or at the mercy of some tw@ with a guitar and about two chords. Best you can hope for is sufficient rain to deter them.

I've done my fair share of sleeping out, including a several-month homeless spell, as well as through choice (when on hols). And early October is not a bad time: well out of peak tourist and midge season, though the lack of daylight is a downer. But there are limits, and I'll take all the commentard downvotes for being a grumpy old git before descending to this.

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Re: Bah, Humbug

Irrespective of your experiences, you Sir are an Ass.

This is a charity event to raise money for folk that are in genuine need of help, it is not intended to be some sort of "homelessness experience"

Posting this as Anonymous Coward is at least appropriate because you have perfectly defined your nature as an individual.

Shame on you and your up voters

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Re: Bah, Humbug

It is indeed a jolly, and I have no shame about admitting I am having fun whilst raising money for a great cause that I believe in wholeheartedly. As someone who has experienced homelessness, I would think that you would be happy for there to be more awareness around the issues that can cause homelessness, especially in young people, and I would think that you would be happy that people are choosing to donate money to this cause.

Would you prefer those trying to help to reduce being homeless to a few nights without a shower in the name of having an "immersive experience"? I do not know what it is like to be homeless and I cannot imagine the hopelessness felt by those who have found themselves in that situation, and whether I sleep outside in a stadium or whether I sleep on the street, I don't think either would make me fully comprehend what is felt by people who feel that they have no other choice.

I am happy to take part in such a great event with so many other people who feel the same way I do about it - it's great to know that we can make a difference regardless of the approval of grumpy old gits like you.

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Facepalm

Re: Bah, Humbug

Regina - OP (the curmudgeon) here. Respect to you for doing something you believe in, even if I don't.

I get very cynical about people doing things about housing here. Successive governments have gone to ever more outlandish lengths to make things worse, and even the likes of Shelter (our big-name housing charity) is complicit. It goes something like:

- We have a problem. People can't afford houses

- Let's throw some money at selected people, so they can afford houses

Market sees more money in housing, and house prices rise to absorb it. Or land prices, if a round of money was aimed at builders rather than buyers

- We have a problem. Even more people can't afford houses.

You're raising more money. You'll help a fortunate few, and feed into making things incrementally harder for the excluded.

On a personal note, when I ended up homeless was after the end of a fixed-term contract in a recession. It took several months to get a new job, whereupon I was able to get a flat. Though actually sleeping out was *less* unpleasant than the London rental slum market in my first professional job after graduating (and it probably helped that my homeless spell was the wimps' season: April-October.

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Re: Bah, Humbug

Hello again, Mr. Scrooge. Completely agree with you in terms of the housing situation, and I am not naive enough to think that by me sleeping on the ground one night, I'm somehow making a difference. However, collectively, I feel we are, and I don't think it helps anything to have a defeatist attitude: "Well, we're not saving everyone, so let's not do anything at all."

I do believe that homelessness is caused by a variety of factors, and it doesn't matter how much mental health support and addiction counselling is available if someone is still unable to earn enough working two jobs to support their family. There is absolutely a bigger issue here which this event doesn't address and won't solve, which includes government policy and living wage. *However*... as this event grows and draws more and more publicity, and the more people are exposed to the realities of the homelessness issues in our society, I believe (and hope!) that the message will spread amongst voters that we're the ones who can initiate change.

Though saying all that, recent events both here and in my home country have done little to inspire faith in the voting public, so perhaps this is all for naught. But I'd rather do something than nothing, and since I can't yet vote in this country, raising awareness and funds for a cause I care is what I'm left with.

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Flame

Re: Bah, Humbug

mental health support and addiction counselling

Different issue, though of course there may be some overlap. No doubt worthy issues in their own right, but it annoys me when commentators on housing make that kind of association.

Actually our housing situation has improved vastly since my youth: rentals aren't cheap, but the quality of what you can get for minimum wage is immeasurably better than what I had on a supposedly-decent graduate salary (taxed at nearly 40% PAYE too). But that's a different issue yet again, and the main issue back then was that before 1989, strong tenant protection basically killed the market, so unless you had a grapevine (like students or nurses) you were at the mercy of gangsters who were the only people who *dared* to be landlords.

Anyway, this isn't really the forum for this discussion. Just adding a bit of background.

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