Housing

Thousands join Social Bite in sleeping rough to raise money for homeless

The Sleep in the Park charity event, starring Liam Gallagher and John Cleese, has reportedly raised £3.6 million so far

Josh Littlejohn Social Bite

Over 8,000 people slept rough in central Edinburgh on the coldest night of the year to raise money to tackle homelessness.

The Sleep In The Park event on Saturday in Princes St Gardens, hosted by comedian Rob Brydon, and was attended by Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Bob Geldof.

The event, organised by Social Bite, saw participants pledging to fundraise at least £100 each, and it’s reported that £3.6 million of the £4 million target has been raised so far.

Liam Gallagher Sleep in the Park
Parka-clad Liam Gallagher was among the stars performing at the event

Those who did take part were treated to live music from Liam Gallagher, Amy Macdonald, Frightened Rabbit and Deacon Blue, while comedy legend John Cleese read a bedtime story.

Josh Littlejohn MBE, Social Bite co-founder, said: “There are 11,000 homeless households in Scotland. When I think about all of the amazing different people, sleeping in this garden tonight, the one thing that strikes me about these statistics of homelessness is that they are not insurmountable.

“We won’t end homelessness after one night, but we have made one giant leap towards that goal. And that is the victory of everyone who took part.”

The Big Issue’s team leader in Scotland Rhys Morgan said: “It was a great event to be part of, alongside Shelter. People were very supportive and engaged with our vendors and knew why we were there.

“The vendors really enjoyed it, and were adamant they stayed until the end despite the temperature.”

Even though the event is now over, The Big Issue’s vendors are braving the cold selling this week’s magazine, featuring an exclusive interview with Star Wars legend Mark Hamill.

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