E-commerce minister roughs it with Jenny Agutter

Stephen Timms will take part in Byte Night, the IT industry's attempt to raise £300,000 to combat youth homelessness

E-commerce minister Stephen Timms is set to join film star Jenny Agutter and a host of top IT bosses by sleeping rough in London on Friday night at the fourth Byte Night.

This year's Byte Night, an annual event in which the IT industry raises money to tackle youth homelessness, is aiming to raise £300,000. Timms, Jenny Agutter and around 130 representatives of technology companies will spend the night of 20 September sleeping out at Finsbury Square.

All money raised will go to support projects run by NCH -- a children's charity that works with homeless young people.

Timms is due to give a short speech at the start of Byte Night, in which he is expected to say that the event marks a major step in joining socially responsible attitudes with mainstream business practices. Both Jenny Agutter and Tony Manwaring of NCH will also speak.

The first Byte Night took place in 1998, and was established by NCH and IT PR firm Kaizo. The four previous events have raised a total of over £650,000.

Speaking last week at a CBI e-business and sustainable development conference last week, Timms said that Byte Night was an example of how e-business can contribute to sustainability.

"I applaud initiatives of that kind and the growing enthusiasm of people from the corporate sector for contributing to addressing the big social challenges which we face. I believe that is a very important resource for us as a community in facing those challenges," Timms said.

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