Social Bite fundraising campaign tops £4m for homelessness in Scotland

The Sleep in the Park event was headlined by Liam Gallagher

A festive fundraising campaign to tackle homelessness in Scotland which saw thousands of people sleep rough for a night in Edinburgh has raised more than £4 million.

Social Bite raised the money through its Sleep in the Park event in December and an appeal for £5 donations for meals.

The charity’s cafes in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen opened up on Christmas Day to serve dinner and give out presents to people affected by the issue.

A Social Bite spokesman said: “Thank you so much to every single person that slept out or donated a Christmas dinner.

“You have simultaneously registered your disgust at the system that results in people becoming homeless in such large numbers.

“The job over the next 12 months is to use this money to get a minimum of 500 people off the streets into a proper home with a funded support resource – and in doing so help to restructure our response to homelessness for the long term. We look forward to working with lots of homelessness charities, housing associations and the Scottish Government to this end.”

Sleep in the Park saw more than 8,000 people spend the night in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens earlier this month.

Stars including Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and Frightened Rabbit performed at the event.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, communities secretary Angela Constance and housing minister Kevin Stewart also spent the night in the gardens.

Social Bite has already donated £25,000 of funds raised from the sleep out to the Bethany Christian Trust to fund extra capacity at its winter care shelter, and two of Scotland’s biggest housing providers, Edindex and the Wheatley Group, offered almost 500 houses to homeless people.