On 9 December, Social Bite are bringing 9,000 people together to take part in ‘Sleep in the Park’ in Princes Street Gardens.
The event is set to be the largest sleep-out in the world and is part of ‘Social Bite’s plan to eradicate homelessness in Scotland within the next five years. Musicians such as Liam Gallagher, Amy MacDonald and Deacon Blue will perform at the event, alongside Rob Brydon who will be presenting.
Social Bite is a national social enterprise in Scotland. Their cafes and restaurants across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen provide many homeless people with food and support. They are the largest distributor of food for homeless people in the UK and employ over 100 people affected by homelessness.
In addition, a Social Bite Village project is being launched, which will provide accommodation to homeless people. If Edinburgh University students and staff raise £50,000, the University will be able to sponsor one of the houses at the Social Bite village in Granton.
Social Bite’s well-established plan to end homelessness is supported by the Scottish Government, smaller homelessness charities and private and public-sector donors. You can read more about the details of their plan on their website.
To take part in ‘Sleep in the Park’, the initial fee of £50 has been paid for by a private donor for the first 200 University of Edinburgh students who sign up using the referral code SITPEDI. Each participant is then expected to raise £50 towards the cause. However, naturally, Social Bite are hoping people will raise more than the required sum of £50 each, and they will be giving out rewards for participants who manage to raise the most.
Furthermore, Social Bite are looking for regular donors and people who can offer spare rooms.
Representatives from the University of Edinburgh will be organising fundraising events for students to get involved in. These events will be advertised on the ‘Social Bite on Campus’ Facebook page.
Participating in ‘Sleep in the Park’ is a great opportunity to get involved in an important movement to end homelessness in our city and across Scotland.
With enough recognition, ‘Sleep in the Park’ will encourage other cities to turn their attention to problems of homelessness and set up similar events across the world.
illustration: Yang Yifei