Social Bite launches the world's largest sleep-out, Sleep in the Park
- Kirstyn Smith
- 30 August 2017
Landmark charity event will feature Liam Gallagher, Bob Geldof and John Cleese, in a bid to raise £4 million to end homelessness in Scotland
If you've always dreamed of Liam Gallagher singing you a lullaby or John Cleese reading you a bedtime story (and, let's face it, who hasn't), then Social Bite's Sleep in the Park will be right up your street.
The charity are launching the world's largest sleep-out, in which thousands of people are invited to sleep rough in Edinburgh's city centre, to raise money to end homelessness in Scotland within the next five years.
Sleep in the Park will take place in West Princes Street Gardens on Sat 9 Dec and hopes to raise £4m for the charity, as well as 1000 employment offers and 1000 'spare room' pledges.
Participants will be accompanied by an impressive list of well-known musicians and comedians, with Rob Brydon hosting the event. He will be joined by 'buskers' Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and Frightened Rabbit, as well as John Cleese who thankfully won't be getting musical, but will be reading a bedtime story instead.
Liam Gallagher said: 'Ever since Oasis got signed in Glasgow at King Tuts, Scotland has always had a special place in my heart. The fans are among the best in the world. I'm looking forward to playing in Edinburgh and supporting this Charity. I hope the event helps as many people back on their feet as possible.'
You won't be able to buy tickets in the conventional sense. Instead, you can only attend by getting to a fundraising target and accepting the sleep-out challenge. The initial commitment is to raise £100.
Sleep in the Park is being billed as the 'Live Aid' for homelessness in Scotland – so it seems natural that Sir Bob Geldof will be there, lending his support. Sir Bob will also hunker down and face the bitter Scottish winter weather alongside the thousands sleeping rough for the night.
Sir Bob Geldof said: 'When we launched Live Aid in 1985, it showed the power of music and events to create real and important social change. I first met Josh and Alice from Social Bite 5 years ago and I am delighted to support them and their effort to eradicate homelessness in Scotland by sleeping out in the cold at the event. The event has the potential to be a game changer in tackling the issue and I am right behind it, even if a little nervous to brave a cold Scottish winters night. I know Scotland to be a compassionate nation and I would implore you to get involved.'
Social Bite began as a sandwich shop on Edinburgh's Rose Street back in 2012, and now has five shops across Scotland, two staff canteens in Edinburgh, a central production kitchen in Livingston and a large corporate catering business. Work has also begun on their most ambitious project, the Social Bite village, which will comprise 10 two-bedroom homes specially built in Granton to provide a safe living space for up to 20 people from homeless backgrounds. The first residents are touted to move in before Christmas this year.
Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn MBE said: 'We want to make Scotland an example for the whole world to follow. We're a small country; a nation of innovators. The statistics of homelessness in Scotland are not insurmountable – we only need to help 11,000 people back to their feet – together we can do that. So whether as a business, a family or an individual – please join our sleepout.'
Sleep in the Park takes place in West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Sat 9 Dec. Find out more at sleepinthepark.com