Boycott your Bed 2023. A night out in London, by Matthew Goodman

Matthew Goodman reflects on Team Triad’s mission to boycott their bed and raise money and awareness for Action for Children.

Boycott your Bed is one of Action for Children’s flagship fundraising events. Under the leadership of Boycott your Bed (South) board member and Triad MD, Adrian Leer, Triad has been supporting this sleep-out event for four years now. This summer, we set ourselves a company participation target of 10% (10 people). It felt like a tall ambition, but with the help of some amazing team mates (you know who you are!), I’m pleased to say that we exceeded it.

Our 2023 Triad sleepers collaborated via a Microsoft Teams channel, sharing ideas for fundraising and publicity. This included theming a company day around our planned sleep-out. We were supported by Lottie Summers from Action for Children, who joined us to talk about the UK’s child poverty crisis and gave examples of the charity’s work. It was really moving. MK Stadium was among the generous raffle prize donors, and we sold some Triad branded goodies at knock-down prices. And we even recruited an extra sleeper.

Boycott Your Bed Sleep Night!

We all met at a reception at the London Museum. A young lady took to the stage to speak about her rough living experience. She explained how Action for Children intervened with the support of a lovely local couple who took her into their home for a few nights. This couple were amazing. For 18 years now, they have been providing a safe haven for homeless children.

The inspirational Fatima Whitbread MBE was part of the presentation team, entertaining the ‘sleepers’ with a quiz at the Museum of London pre-sleep venue. Fatima is a former Olympian and javelin world record holder who spent 14 years in children’s care homes before being adopted by a javelin coach.

A starry night

At around 10 p.m., we walked to Paternoster Square, each carrying our sleeping bag, mat, and warm clothes. We found our spot and set up for the night. We were tremendously lucky with the weather, as it was relatively warm for October and didn’t rain. Team Triad was in good spirits. We played a few games and relaxed into the night. Eventually, I managed to get a few hours of sleep before sunrise to have a quick bite to eat, a much-needed coffee, and travel back home to my family.

Upon reflection, our 1-night sleeping in a well-lit area, with 24/7 security, hot drinks, and snacks, is in no way comparable to the circumstances many people endure across the UK. But it did give us a platform to publicise Action for Children and raise money for this incredible charity.

And it also made me think about how lucky I am. As a father to a 4-year-old boy, I couldn’t imagine him having to spend one night on the streets, let alone days, weeks, months, or years.


Taking action for children

I was shocked to discover that over 4.2 million children in the UK live in poverty. Action for Children is doing an unbelievable job. Their supporters help fund many programmes – from schemes preventing neglect to mental health support. The charity helped 765,905 children, young people, and families in 2022/23.

Thanks to all the wonderful support from our family, friends and colleagues, Triad has raised £6,094 by ‘Boycotting our Beds’ so far. This exceeded our target donation target by 204%, finishing 5th in the team fundraiser leaderboard across London, Leeds, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Belfast.

Well, that’s my story. A story of firsts. My first time helping organise a team charity event. My first time sleeping out in London. And the first time I have raised money for Action for Children. But not the last! Because this amazing charity has inspired me. I hope that my story has inspired you a little too.

Action for Children protects and supports children and young people, providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard. Boycott your Bed is now the UK’s most prominent corporate sleepout event and is aimed at supporting young people who are homeless in the UK. You can support this wonderful cause by clicking here.