Ballymena buddies tackle youth homelessness with sleep-out

Paul Dillon, Byte Night board member, left, and musician and vocalist, James Walsh, who will be taking part in this years Byte Night event in London on October 7. (Submitted Picture).

Paul Dillon, Byte Night board member, left, and musician and vocalist, James Walsh, who will be taking part in this years Byte Night event in London on October 7. (Submitted Picture).

Two Ballymena residents will be supporting UK charity Action for Children’s Byte Night campaign in London to tackle youth homelessness.

Byte Night is the charity’s flagship sponsored sleep-out event on October 7, taking place at 10 different UK locations, including in the Pavilion at Stormont, and involving hundreds of people from the business and technology sectors.

James Walsh, musician and vocalist of chart topping post Britpop band Starsailor, and Paul Dillon, a managing director at Fortune 100 company Accenture, will be sleeping out under the elements at the Byte Night London location as well as helping to recruit more sponsorship.

Paul Dillon, who has lived in Ballymena for 10 years, joined the board of Byte Night in August; the event has raised £8 million to help prevent youth homelessness in the United Kingdom.

Paul was eager to involve his long-time friend and Ballymena neighbour James Walsh.

Paul Dillon says: “I’m hugely privileged to have been invited to join the board of Byte Night. Youth homelessness is a hidden problem in the UK and the event raises hugely needed funds for Action for Children’s work.

“Of course I immediately wanted to get James on board as I knew he would want to help.”

James Walsh has also lived in Ballymena for 10 years and has sold over three million albums globally.

He says: “I’m really excited about being involved in Byte Night, the event sounds fun, but more than that, it’s for an immensely important cause.

“I was absolutely shocked when Paul told me the extent of youth homelessness in the UK – 80,000 kids without a home!

“Of course I want to do anything I can to help kids that need support. I was lucky enough to have had a good childhood, but I know that’s not something everyone has,” added James.

Paul and James will be taking part in this year’s Byte Night on October 7 in London SE1 - one of just 10 locations in the UK regions and nations.

Byte Night is the UK’s biggest sponsored sleep-out event and supports Action for Children’s work to ensure all children have a safe and loving home.

Byte Night has raised more than £8 million in support of vulnerable children and young people since it was launched in 1998 by founders Ken Deems and James Bennet.

Action for Children, which it supports, work in local communities across the UK to make children’s lives better and to take action at the earliest opportunity to help children as they grow up.

In the past year the charity has helped more than 390,000 children, young people and their families across the UK.

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