Social Bite is no stranger to mixing with the stars and holding sleepouts – but its latest venture takes its mission to end homelessness to the global stage with youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
The Scottish homelessness sandwich shop has previously been visited by George Clooney, Leonardo Di Caprio and royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and raised a reported £7.6m through Sleep in the Park events in their native country over the last couple of years.
— Hope Webb (@imhopewebb) March 13, 2019
Co-founder Josh Littlejohn revealed that last year’s Scottish sleep-out event earlier this year and yesterday he unveiled the next project.
Social Bite will team up with the Malala Fund as well as the UNICEF USA and the Institute of Global Homelessness to get 50,000 people sleeping out on the same night worldwide next December.
In total, more than 92,000 people have sold The Big Issue since 1991 to help themselves work their way out of poverty – more than could fit into Wembley Stadium.
Activist Malala, 21, who has advocated for human rights and female education after surviving a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012, visited Social Bite’s restaurant Vesta in Edinburgh on Wednesday.
She then took part in a Q&A with BBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent John Simpson CBE in front of 1,300 supporters of the Social Bite charity at the Scottish capital’s International Conference Centre.
“Educated girls have the power to transform our world,” said Malala. But without a home or access to education, millions of refugee and displaced girls are unable to fulfil their potential. I am excited to partner with Social Bite and have their support for Malala Fund’s work to get refugee girls get back in school.”
A privilege to be at tonight’s @SocialBite_ event with so many #sleepinthepark fundraisers and welcoming the inspirational @Malala Yousafzai to #scotland
A huge thank you to everyone who has helped raise over £7.6M for the charity at Sleep in the Park #socialbite pic.twitter.com/6d8FPNI0DD
— Unique Events (@UniqueEventsltd) March 13, 2019
The funds from the Scottish sleepouts have helped to fund Social Bite’s Housing First scheme which aims to take 830 rough sleepers and into sustainable supported accommodation off the streets by April 2021.
The Malala Fund, which aims to help 130 million women across the world into education, will also be a beneficiary of the global sleep-outs alongside Social Bite.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 13, 2019
“It was such an honour for Social Bite to host Malala’s visit to Scotland,” said Littlejohn. “Malala’s fight for girls’ education and the work her foundation does in supporting refugees and creating social justice is an inspiration.
“I’m thrilled that Malala’s visit marks the announcement of our World’s Big Sleepout campaign, to bring our ‘Sleep in the Park’ event concept to an international stage.”
Image: Social Bite