World’s Big Sleep Out shows where politicians’ priorities should be – Angus Robertson

Josh Littlejohn attends the The World's Big Sleep Out at Times Square in New York. Picture: Getty
Josh Littlejohn attends the The World's Big Sleep Out at Times Square in New York. Picture: Getty
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As Josh Littlejohn says, the World’s Big Sleep Out send a message to our political leaders about the need for compassionate policies and solutions to homelessness and the global refugee crisis, writes Angus Robertson.

The filthy weather of recent days kept most of us homebound in the warmth and dry. Not the thousands of people who braved the elements to join the Big Sleep Out, the Edinburgh-born anti-homelessness initiative which has gone global.

Tens of thousands of people slept outdoors in Edinburgh and 50 locations around the world with the aim of raising lifesaving funds to help one million homeless and displaced people. Big stars joined the participants, including Brian Cox in Edinburgh, Helen Mirren in London and Will Smith in New York as part of the drive to raise $50 million.

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The World’s Big Sleep Out was started by Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of the Scottish charity Social Bite. He said he wanted “to send a message to the world’s political leaders to enact compassionate policy and find solutions for homelessness locally and the global refugee crisis that affects us all”.

While homelessness applications are decreasing in Scotland, there are still too many people without a roof over their heads and the devastating life-impacting consequences that leads to.

Social Bite, which started its first sandwich shop on Rose Street, now has a chain of social enterprise shops in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen employing 70 people. There’s also the Vesta Bar and Kitchen on Queensferry Street, where customers ‘pay forward’ a meal for people who are homeless or in food poverty.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to support the World’s Big Sleep Out, or Social Bite, just go online and make a donation today or become a customer at one of the Social Bite shops or Vesta Bar and Kitchen.