Scots charity Social Bite have launched the Wee Sleep Out calling on young people between the ages of eight and 16 to organise their own sleep out to raise funds and awareness in a bid to end homelessness.
The charity has pencilled in Friday 9 November as the date for the initiative, which is part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
The move backed by teachers, youth leaders, parents and guardians will see young people sleeping out in back gardens, school ground and community halls among other places.
There will be no sign-up fee and no minimum fundraising target involved to make the event accessible to all but participants are being encouraged to raise as much money as they can contribute towards Social Bite’s movement to end homelessness.
The Wee Sleep Out coincides with Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park which takes places on Saturday 8 December.
Money from the Wee Sleep Out events will go towards the charity’s wider Sleep in the Park total which raised £4 million last year and saw the likes of Liam Gallagher and Deacon Blue play live in front of 8,000 people who braved sub-zero temperatures to sleep out overnight in Princes Street Gardens.
Alice Thompson, co-founder of Social Bite and organiser of the Wee Sleep Out, said: “The success of Sleep in the Park last year was overwhelming.
“There’s been a real appetite from the young people of Scotland looking to get involved, and a number of them got in touch after Sleep in the Park, offering their support. We even had Cody McManus, aged nine, brave the Beast from the East and sleep out in an Igloo in his back garden – raising £1,000 for the cause.
“We’re proud to launch the Wee Sleep Out during Scotland’s Year of Young People and give the young people in this country a voice.
“We want people of all ages to get involved with Social Bite’s mission to eradicate homelessness, and we’re inviting young people across the country to get creative and take the lead by organising their own Wee Sleep Out.”
Olivia Ferguson, a 16-year-old student at Kelso High School, took part in Sleep in the Park last year and contacted Alice after the event.
She said: “This a great opportunity for young people to come together to help end homelessness. Last year my family and I took part in the Sleep in the Park, which was a very humbling experience. I didn’t want my support to end there, so I got in touch with Alice and suggested an event in the Borders, and I can wait to organise a Wee Sleep Out.”