On 9th December 2017, a team from Dunedin took part in the world’s largest ever sleep-out, in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. The team slept outside with 8,000 people to experience what it feels like to sleep out in winter. The initiative was put on by Social Bite to raise funds to tackle homelessness in Scotland and the last reported figure for fundraising was £3.6 million.
Social Bite aims to provide homeless people with housing, rehabilitation, job opportunities and the support they need to get back on their feet. Through a chain of cafes and restaurants they employ over 100 people many of whom have struggled with homelessness. They are the largest distributor of fresh free food to the homeless in the UK, giving out over 100,000 items of food and hot drinks per year.
The team included Dunedin’s Mark Ligertwood, Graham Urquhart, Claire McCorquodale and Rebecca Sneddon.
Mark Ligertwood, Partner at Dunedin who took part said: “It was an incredible experience to be part of this event and educational to appreciate that most people fall into sleeping rough through misfortune at birth, having been victims of abusive family backgrounds and the broken social care system. We are really grateful to everyone who donated money to this great cause and are delighted that the whole event has raised a fantastic £3.6 million for the cause.”