From all of us at Umega, we would just like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported our ten brave team members at Sleep in the Park raising around £5.5K for our efforts. The event made headlines across the UK and it’s clear a big part of its success was down to private businesses who want to help the homeless people of Scotland and improve the communities that they operate in. You can see a thank you video that Social Bite put together from the night here: https://vimeo.com/246949595 to get a feel for how the night unfolded and what it was all about. I mistakenly believed (being a father and used to disturbed sleep) that I could fall asleep on a clothes line. Yet even with a yoga mat underneath me, a sleeping bag thicker than a duvet and 5 layers of clothing I was uncomfortable and freezing. By sleeping under the stars for one night I can say that no one should have to sleep out during a Scottish Winter night and a suitable option needs to be available to people who want to take it. So I hope that Scotland can come together and make the right choices to help some of its vulnerable people.
Some figures from the night:
- 8,000 people experienced what it is like to sleep out on a cold winters night, as temperatures dipped to -6 C, raising an incredible £3.7m (still rising)!
- EdIndex which includes The City of Edinburgh Council and a number of housing associations including Dunedin Canmore, Castle Rock Edinvar and Port of Leith Housing Association have collectively offered an amazing 275 homes for homeless people in Edinburgh
- Wheatley Group has pledged an additional 200 homes for people in Glasgow and the central belt.
- If you include the Social Bite Village, that’s 495 homes across the central belt!
The money will help fund the support structures for the people moving into these tenancies. This will include addiction support, getting a bank account in their name, support with mental health, helping them into employment and more – removing them from the cycle of homelessness and finally including them in our society.
Once again from the bottom of my heart, thank you for contributing to this.
Bruce Rothwell (that’s me looking miserable and cold in the middle of the photo above)