Sleep in the Park 2018: Massive event coming to Glasgow after success of Edinburgh night

THE world’s biggest simultaneous multi-city sleepout will come to Glasgow after a successful first event in Edinburgh last year.

Homeless social enterprise Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park will again take place in Edinburgh, as well as Dundee and Aberdeen on the same night.

The inaugural event on December 9, 2017 saw 8,000 people sleep under the stars on the coldest night of the year on the capital’s West Princes Street Gardens.

The night became the world’s largest ever event of its kind.

Building on the momentum of that event, Sleep in the Park 2018 will hit Glasgow with the venue expected to be the Kelvingrove Bandstand.

Participants will be joined by an impressive lineup of artists before bedding down for a cold night in each city.

Returning for the second year, Amy MacDonald will be joined on the bill by fellow Scot KT Tunstall, and each will be performing in all four cities on the night.

An aircraft has been donated by prominent Glasgow-based businessman Andrew Devlin to provide the flight for the artists to use.

Comedian Fred MacAulay has been announced as the host for the Edinburgh event and acclaimed author Irvine Welsh will perform this year’s bedtime story.

The full lineup for each city including acts, special guests and hosts will be announced in the coming months.

Last year, Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue and Frightened Rabbit entertained crowds.

Josh Littlejohn MBE, co-founder of Social Bite, described how the event last year raised “an incredible” £4 million.

He said: “Everyone who gave up their beds that night caused a sea change in Scotland’s fight against homelessness and have funded a raft of major projects, including a major ‘Housing First’ initiative which is expected to take 800 rough sleepers off the streets by 2020.

“For Sleep in the Park 2018, we’re doing something that has never been done before: a simultaneous multi-city sleep out in Scotland’s four largest cities.

“We’re asking for 12,000 people in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee to keep the momentum going and raise £6 million.

“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.

“The money raised this year will be put towards rapidly rehousing rough sleepers and providing them with support.

“We’ll make sure the most vulnerable members of society – like people coming from the care system or prison – don’t end up homeless.

“The funds will also go towards a number of other programs that will be a catalyst for long-term structural change.

“I fundamentally believe the statistics of homelessness in Scotland are not insurmountable.

“By collaborating, and treating homelessness as a political priority, Scotland can be a country where everyone has a place to call home.”

Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, added: “Having taken part in the event last year, it was amazing to see people come together to help the most vulnerable people in Scotland.

“Public support for events like the Sleep Out demonstrates the appetite for change, and the Scottish Government absolutely shares this commitment to ending homelessness.

“It’s great to see the events being expanded throughout Scotland and I’d encourage everyone to get involved.”

Alongside Sleep in the Park, Social Bite is preparing to welcome its first residents to the Social Bite Village in the coming weeks.

Located in Granton, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the Social Bite Village consists of 11 purpose-built two bedroom homes and a community hub, and will provide a stable and supported communal way of living for 20 people at a time for around 12 to 18 months.

Members of the public can join Sleep in the Park by committing to raise £100.

Businesses can sponsor the event by signing up a team of five with a minimum fundraising commitment for £3,000.

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