Thou­sands to brave cold

Sleep-out: Hardy souls take to Scot­land’ s parks to help home­less

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JAMES WYLLIE

Armed with sleep­ing bags and warm clothes, thou­sands of peo­ple will take to Scot­land’s parks this evening in a bid to help end home­less­ness.

An es­ti­mated 10,000 peo­ple have signed up to brave the el­e­ments for char­ity So­cial Bite’s Sleep in the Park.

Tonight peo­ple will hun­ker down in green spa­ces in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh – and it is hoped they will raise more than £4 mil­lion to help peo­ple sleep­ing rough across the coun­try, as they spend one night ex­pe­ri­enc­ing what some peo­ple face night af­ter night.

A large cast of celebrity names have pledged their sup­port to the cause.

Singing su­per­stars Amy Mac­don­ald and KT Tun­stall have signed up to per­form gigs at each of the sleep-outs – be­ing rushed from park to park by he­li­copter through­out the evening.

Fel­low­mu­si­cian­sEddi Reader and Cal­lum Beattie will take to the stage in the Gran­ite City’s Duthie Park, while Aberdeen FC man­ager Derek McInnes will read a bed­time story to the 1,800 par­tic­i­pants.

Fundrais­ers in other cities will be treated to shows from the likes of Lulu and The View’s Kyle Fal­coner.

The night will also pro­vide a “highly emo­tional” re­turn to the stage for band Fright­ened Rab­bit, fol­low­ing the death of singer Scott Hutchi­son ear­lier this year.

The Selkirk band had pledged its sup­port to the event be­fore this and Mr Hutchi­son’s brother Grant, who is also the group’s drum­mer, said it seemed like the “right thing” to do to hon­our the com­mit­ment.

So­cial Bite co-founder Josh Lit­tle­john said: “The weather fore­cast is look­ing cold and rainy so please wrap up and bring an um­brella.

“The money raised is go­ing to pro­vide sup­port to the 20 peo­ple liv­ing in the So­cial Bite vil­lage and ini­tia­tives through­out the year in­clud­ing em­ploy­ment pro­grammes.

“We also have a mas­sive na­tion­wide cam­paign – Hous­ing First – and we’re aim­ing to help 830 who are cur­rently in a re­ally des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion of home­less­ness or rough sleep­ing into their own flat they can call home.”

While sign-ups for the event are closed, money can still be pledged to the cause at sleepinthep­ark.co.uk

Pho­to­graphs by Kenny El­rick

GET­TING READY: Duthie Park in Aberdeen be­ing set up for So­cial Bite’s Sleep in The Park.

Eddi Reader will be ap­pear­ing on stage in Aberdeen

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