Social Bite announces nationwide sleep out

Sir Bob Geldof addressed the crowd during last year’s event

Charity Social Bite has announced a return of its mass sleep out to aid efforts to prevent homelessness with events in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee in December.

Sleep in the Park 2018 intends to raise £6 million as part of a campaign with a mission to build a collaborative movement to end homelessness in Scotland.

A line-up of performers for the event on December 8 so far includes Amy MacDonald and KT Tunstall. Both singers will perform at all four locations, travelling by helicopter.

Comedian Fred MacAulay has been announced as the host for the Edinburgh event and author Irvine Welsh will perform the “bedtime story”.

Further acts will be announced in the months leading up to the event.

The inaugural event in Edinburgh last year saw 8,000 people sleep out at West Princes Street Gardens raising £4m in the process.

Last year’s fundraising helped complete the Social Bite Village and pay for a “Housing First” programme to bring 800 homeless people into mainstream tenancies across Scotland.

The events will take place simultaneously in Princes St Gardens in Edinburgh, Slessor Gardens in Dundee, Duthie Park in Aberdeen and it is expected to take place in Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow.

It is hoped that 12,000 people will participate.

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, said: “For Sleep in the Park 2018 we’re doing something that has never been done before - a simultaneous multi-city sleep out.

“We were completely blown away by the thousands of people who joined this movement and supported Sleep in the Park last year. We want to build on this across the whole of Scotland.

“By organising these events locally, we will invest the funds so that homeless people in those cities are housed and given the support they need to get back on their feet.”

The money raised from this year’s event will be put towards re-housing rough sleepers and providing support to the homeless.

Mr Littlejohn added: “The funds will also go towards a number of other programmes that will be a catalyst for long-term structural change.

“By coming together, we can accelerate the pace of change in Scotland and create the political mandate to truly end homelessness here.”

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