Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Top Scots Edinburgh sleep out raises more than £500,000

Marshall Dallas (EICC), Jennifer Cheyne (Cheyne Hairdressing), Josh Littlejohn (Social Bite) and Shaf Rasul (E-Net) (L-R) Image copyright Social Bite
Image caption Well-known figures from industry, academia, politics and the media spent the night in Charlotte Square

A group of prominent Scots who slept out overnight for charity have raised more than £500,000 to build a village for homeless people in Edinburgh.

About 300 people slept outdoors in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh on 15 December for the Social Bite CEO Sleepout.

Social Bite plans to have 10 purpose-built homes in Granton for up to 20 homeless people.

The fundraisers reached the £500,000 needed for the village.

Sir Chris Hoy

A statement on social media on Tuesday revealed the total gathered was £564,545.

The statement continued: "This figure has exceeded our original target of £500,000 needed to build a village for homeless and vulnerable people in Scotland.

"The money will not only be put towards the physical build but also towards an intensive support structure for the residents to help them get back on their feet.

"Thank you to everyone involved for making the first steps on that journey with us by funding our village project."

Participants who included Olympic cycling veteran Sir Chris Hoy were served breakfast by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following their night out under the stars.

Work is expected to begin on the project early next year, with the first residents moving in by the summer.

It will be run by Social Bite with the EDI Group and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Earlier this month, Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, received an MBE for services to social enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland.

The organisation has received backing from various high-profile figures including Leonardo di Caprio who stopped for lunch at Home, a Social Bite venture in Edinburgh's west end, in November.

His visit followed that of Hollywood star George Clooney to Social Bite's Rose Street branch in the city a year earlier.

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