Nicola Sturgeon to serve breakfast to rough sleepers at Social Bite Village fundraiser

Web social bite sleepout

Some of those taking part, from left, Marshall Dallas (EICC), Jennifer Cheyne OBE (Cheyne Hairdressing), Josh Littlejohn (Social Bite) and Shaf Rasul (E-Net).

Sir Chris Hoy among 250 prominent Scottish based people to take part in the fundraiser taking place in Edinburgh later this month

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1st December 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Sir Chris Hoy will be among 250 prominent Scots sleeping rough later this month to raise money for Social Bite Village, a project which aims to house up to 20 homeless people.

Taking place at Charlotte Square in Edinburgh on 15 December, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has agreed to serve breakfast from her official residence Bute House, situated on the square to the rough sleepers who will be out in the cold from 7pm to 7am.

The six-time Olympic champion will be joined by chief executives of many major Scottish businesses and third sector organisations, including the likes of T In The Park boss Geoff Ellis, David Watt of the Institute of Directors and representatives from major international media outlets as they bid to kickstart a campaign to raise up to £500,000 for the project.

Announced in November, the 10 home eco-village in Granton, Edinburgh, is to open thanks to one of Scotland's most successful social enterprises, Social Bite.

Nicola Sturgeon to serve breakfast to rough sleepers at Social Bite Village fundraiser

Social Bite has done incredible work to help homeless people in Scotland by giving them the opportunity to work in their cafes and restaurants.

It is being partly funded by proceeds from the Scottish Business Awards, which are run by Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn and which this year saw movie star Leonardo DiCaprio speak.

Speaking in advance of the sleepout the first minister described the Social Bite Village concept as “groundbreaking” saying it will help break the cycle of homelessness.

She continued: “Tackling homelessness is a priority for the Scottish Government and we collaborate closely with local government and a range of national and local partners to work towards ensuring everyone has access to a warm and safe place to stay.

“Social Bite has done incredible work to help homeless people in Scotland by giving them the opportunity to work in their cafes and restaurants.

“I look forward to meeting all those taking part in the sleepout and hearing of their experience.”

Sir Chris Hoy added: “It takes a lot to get me to give up my bed but the Social Bite Village is an extremely worthwhile cause.

“Social Bite is being bold in trying to show how the cycle of homelessness can be broken, by giving people support and stability, and that’s something that I’m keen to back.

“Sleeping rough for one night might just be a small gesture but the money raised will go to kick-start the fundraising for this extraordinary project.”

In partnership with property development business EDI Group and City of Edinburgh Council, Social Bite plans to provide an innovative, low cost, supervised, safe living environment homeless people for around 12 months each.

Work is expected to begin early next year (2017) and the first residents will move in next summer.

Social Bite will work with the council and other homelessness charities to identify suitable residents and individuals will live in a managed environment where they can learn new skills and get their life back on track.

During the year spent living in the village, residents will work it the company's broader businesses, such as Social Bite sandwich shops or the recently opened Home restaurant, or in partner organisations and will then be helped into more permanent accommodation.

Josh Littlejohn added: “There’s a beautiful symmetry that the country’s most wealthy and influential people are braving the freezing cold for one night to help fund a long-term solution to homelessness.

“It’s incredibly humbling to see so many influential names getting behind the project and if there are more who want to join us, we want to hear about it.”