Hearts and Hibs unite for Sleep in the Park

Edinburgh's biggest football clubs will come together on Saturday 9 December for Sleep in the Park, the UK's largest ever sleep out.

Hearts and Hibs will unite Sleep in the Park. Contributed

Ann Budge and Leeann Dempster met with Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn MBE to show their support, alongside Hibernian’s Simon Murray and Brandon Barker and Heart of Midlothian’s Aaron Hughes and Gary Locke.

Raising money for homeless people across Scotland, the clubs will put their historic rivalry to bed for one evening and spend a cold winters night in the city centre.

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Hearts and Hibs will unite Sleep in the Park. Contributed

Participants from each club will be announced shortly before the event. 9,000 members of the public are expected to join the sleep out, with 2,000 already signed up to take part.

Josh Littlejohn MBE, co-founder of Social Bite, said: “It is amazing to have the support of two of the biggest football clubs in Scotland and to bring these friendly rivals together for one night. It’s our goal to raise £4 million and eradicate homelessness in a five-year period, investing these funds in housing solutions, addiction support and employment programmes.

“Sleep in the Park is an opportunity for everyone to come together and support a hugely important cause in our country, and I hope football fans of both clubs will be inspired to join us too.”

Those taking part in Sleep in the Park will be treated to a spectacular live concert with acoustic performances from Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and Frightened Rabbit.

Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge said: “I am proud that Heart of Midlothian Football Club supports this great initiative, and I’m delighted that members of our staff are taking part in what will be a memorable night.

“This is an opportunity for the city of Edinburgh to come together, as shown by the backing of both Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian, and raise funds to help tackle the issue of homelessness.

“I hope the supporters of both clubs will join us in supporting this worthwhile event.”

Hibernian chief executive, Leeann Dempster, continued: “Hibernian are pleased to back Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park event and wider efforts to end homelessness in Scotland.

“Both clubs recognise the value of the work being done to help those less fortunate, and are happy to give our support.

“We would encourage supporters to get behind Sleep in the Park in any way they can, whether that is taking part and sleeping out or by donating directly.

Members of the public can join Sleep in the Park by committing to fundraising at least £100. Businesses can sponsor the event by signing up a team of five with a minimum fundraising commitment of £3,000.

To find out more and to sign up visit www.sleepinthepark.co.uk

Hearts and Hibs will unite Sleep in the Park. Contributed