Thousands gather for 'world's biggest sleepout'

9 December 2017, 05:48

Homeless Person

Thousands of people will sleep out in freezing conditions in Scotland's capital to raise money to tackle homelessness.

Around 9,000 people are expected to bed down for the night in Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens as part of "the world's biggest sleepout".

The Sleep in the Park event aims to raise £4 million to end rough sleeping and homelessness in Scotland.

Those taking part will be entertained with music from Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and Frightened Rabbit.

John Cleese is supporting the event by writing and performing a bedtime story, while Sir Bob Geldof will be sleeping out and addressing the audience.

Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Communities Secretary Angela Constance and Housing Minister Kevin Stewart have also signed up to take part.

The event has been organised by Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, which helps the homeless through cafes, a restaurant and fundraising events.

A quarter of Social Bite's staff are homeless and the charity has attracted the support of Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney.

The charity has already donated £25,000 of funds raised from the sleepout to the Bethany Christian Trust to fund extra capacity at its winter care shelter.