A charity event has raised £500,000 in just three weeks after more than 2,000 people signed up to sleep rough in Edinburgh – in a bid to end homelessness in Scotland.
Sleep in the Park is being billed as ‘Scotland’s Live Aid’ and has recruited a host of entertainment royalty to perform in front of crowds in West Princes Street Gardens on December 9.
Aiming to become the world’s largest-ever sleepout, organisers Social Bite hope the event will raise £4m to eradicate homelessness in five years – by supporting housing, jobs and addiction projects.
Josh Littlejohn MBE, Social Bite co-founder, said: “I am blown away by the kindness of Scotland. It’s been an incredible response to see over 2,000 sign up to take part in Sleep in the Park in just three weeks, raising £500,000 in the process. We raised half a million pounds last year at our CEO Sleep Out, and to match this in such a short space of time is testament to the compassion of the people getting behind the event.
“We have seen 2,000 people from all walks of life join our movement to end homelessness in Scotland for good. I’d like to thank those who are already taking part in Sleep in the Park, but would urge others to do the same and join us. Our target amount of £4 million will be invested into housing solutions, addiction support and employment programmes to support a large number of people out of homelessness and back into society where they belong.”
The event will feature a live concert with stripped back, acoustic performances from Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and Frightened Rabbit.
Artists will play exclusive ‘unplugged’ sets before participants bed down for a cold night in the open.
Comedian Rob Brydon will be hosting the event, John Cleese will be performing a special bedtime story and attendees will also hear from Sir Bob Geldof on his support for the cause.
Sir Bob will also be joining participants and sleeping out with a host of other celebrities, sports personalities and figures from across Scotland’s political parties.
Members of the public can join Sleep in the Park by committing to fundraising at least £100. Businesses can sponsor the event by signing up a team of five with a minimum fundraising commitment of £3,000.