Tayside and Central Scotland

Sleep in the park event to expand across Scotland

Dundee Image copyright Martin Shields
Image caption The event in Dundee will take place in the city's Slessor Gardens

The world's biggest mass sleep out will take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee this December.

Sleep in the Park 2018 intends to raise £6m as part of a homelessness campaign after the inaugural event in Edinburgh last year made £4m.

Charity Social Bite has announced a line-up of performers for the event on 8 December including Amy MacDonald and KT Tunstall.

Both singers will perform at all four locations, travelling by helicopter.

Last year's event saw 8,000 people sleep out at West Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.

Comedian Fred MacAulay has been announced as the host for the Edinburgh event and author Irvine Welsh will perform the "bedtime story".

Image copyright Martin Shields
Image caption Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn says last year's event in Edinburgh raised £4m

Further acts will be announced in the months leading up to the event.

About 12,000 participants are expected to sleep out in Aberdeen's Duthie Park, Dundee's Slessor Gardens, Glasgow's Kelvingrove Bandstand and Edinburgh's Princess Street Gardens.

Last year's fundraising helped complete the Social Bite Village and pay for a "Housing First" programme to bring 800 homeless people into mainstream tenancies across Scotland.

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, said: "For Sleep in the Park 2018 we're doing something that has never been done before - a simultaneous multi-city sleep out.

"We were completely blown away by the thousands of people who joined this movement and supported Sleep in the Park last year. We want to build on this across the whole of Scotland.

"By organising these events locally, we will invest the funds so that homeless people in those cities are housed and given the support they need to get back on their feet."

'Accelerate the pace'

The money raised from this year's event will be put towards re-housing rough sleepers and providing support to the homeless.

Mr Littlejohn added: "The funds will also go towards a number of other programmes that will be a catalyst for long-term structural change.

"By coming together, we can accelerate the pace of change in Scotland and create the political mandate to truly end homelessness here."

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