Glasgow City Council staff raise over £11,500 for Sleep in the Park

Some of the Glasgow City Council staff and councillors who are raising funds for Social Bite and taking part in Sleep in the Park

Glasgow City Council staff have raised more than £11,500 in sponsorship to help homeless people.

A team of around 60 volunteers, including staff and councillors, will brave the cold to support Social Bite’s first Sleep in the Park Glasgow event at Kelvingrove Bandstand.

The team had raised more than £11,500 in sponsorship, including gift aid, with the total still rising. The council has also donated a further £10,000 to the charity.

Simultaneous Sleep in the Park events will take place in Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow on December 8. Social Bite hopes up to 12,000 people will take part across Scotland including up to 2,500 in Glasgow. Temperatures plunged to minus six degrees during last year’s event in Edinburgh and participants are warned to prepare for bitter temperatures here this year.

The hardy team will be headed up by council leader, Cllr Susan Aitken.

Cllr Aitken said: “All credit to the Social Bite team who have made the Sleep in the Park a mass participation charitable event which is now on a national footing.

“There is a real willingness within the public to do something about homelessness and rough sleeping as the response to these events in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen shows.

“And the response we have had from staff internally, over and above the council’s £10,000, is a further indication of what this issue means to individual elected members and staff. A huge thanks to them for all their support and efforts.

“Homelessness is a pressing social issue we at the council are engaged with every single day and which the wider austerity agenda does nothing to improve.

“It is hard for any of us to imagine the lived experience of those who are homeless or rough sleeping but Sleep in the Park allows us to do something as individuals. It will be amazing to see so many people from all walks of life come together to do their bit.”

Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Eva Bolander, donated a bottle of limited edition whisky to be raffled in aid of the fundraiser.

The raffle raised £412 which boosted the team’s tally. The winning ticket, drawn at random from a hat, belonged to Brian McHugh, a senior mechanical engineer in development and regeneration services.

Brian said: “I was really surprised to win! I never expected it - I just bought the tickets because it was for a good cause. I won’t open the whisky - I’ll keep it, as it’s a limited edition bottle in a smart presentation box.”

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, thanked the council for its support.

He said: “Glasgow City Council has done something amazing by supporting this campaign to help vulnerable people. Staff and councillors are also giving up their beds on a cold Scottish winters night to raise money for, and awareness of, homelessness. Staff have doubled the council’s £10,000 donation through sponsorship.

“Together we can not only raise money, but consciousness, and stick up for some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland. We can create a collaborative movement, working closely with local and national government as well as the homelessness sector, to make a massive difference to the lives of homeless people in Glasgow and Scotland. Thank-you for your support GCC.”

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