THE SOUND of snoring filled Elland Road hours before the stadium was packed with thousands of roaring fans for Leeds United’s home clash with Brentford.
Elland Road hosted Action for Children’s first Yorkshire Byte Night on Friday when more than 220 businessmen and women from across the region braved the cold to sleep under the stars.
Among those sleeping out was Leeds United manager director Angus Kinnear and Action for children managing director Nick Jones.
Teams from more than 40 companies took part, including Harvey Nash, Morrisons, Asda, Altrad, Answer Digital, Civica and Burberry.
They joined more than 1,600 people sleeping out across 12 locations up and down the UK on Friday.
Organisers are on target to raise a record-breaking £1.6m in support of Action for Children services.
Among services set to benefit is North Yorkshire Young Carers in Harrogate, which works with young people to help prevent family breakdown.
Steve Rake, director at Harvey Nash and chair of the Byte Night Yorkshire board, 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 Yorkshire for whom this is impossible.
“No child or young person should have to face the trauma of homelessness - they shouldn’t be sofa surfing, they shouldn’t be in B&Bs, and they certainly shouldn’t be on the streets. This a critical issue in our region, as it is across the country, and Byte Night is a chance to support some of the young people in our society who need it most.
“One night really can make a lifetime’s difference and funds raised will help us support children and young people to have a safe and loving home.”
“John Egan, Action for Children’s national director for England North, said: “Our critical work with vulnerable young people and families helps to prevent the tragedy of homelessness by tackling the issues that can lead to young people ending up on the streets.
“From individual support for teenagers to working with families who are facing difficulties, our frontline services can prevent problems from spiralling out of control and keep children and young people safe and cared for.”
Mr Egan added: “Any young people worried about their family situation can come to us for help at actionforchildren.org.uk”