Teenagers sleep out to raise cash for homeless charity

The Explorers huddled in shop doorways for the night. Picture: Comp
The Explorers huddled in shop doorways for the night. Picture: Comp

A group of Explorer Scouts have raised £100 for a homeless charity by sleeping rough on the streets of St Andrews.

A total of 13 members of the 8th Fife group braved the freezing conditions in the town centre on Friday, raising awareness, as well as funds for Social Bite – a cafe which employs homeless people and gives profits to charity.

The funds are being donated to Josh Littlejohn who heads up Social Bite and is also trying to raise funds for Scotland’s first homeless village.

Leaders at the Explorer group were on hand to check regularly on the youngsters throughout the night.

Explorer Scout Brynja Duthie, 15, said: “I realise and appreciate just how lucky I am and how difficult it must be to have no home, food or family.

“I hope Josh achieves his goal and we see less people sleeping on the streets in Scotland.

The sleepout took place on Friday night. Picture: Comp

The sleepout took place on Friday night. Picture: Comp

“I really hope people donate and Josh realises his dream to build a village and help the homeless.”

Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn said: “I was very impressed to hear about what 8th Fife Explorer Scouts have been doing to help fundraise for the Social Bite Village and the money they’ve raised will go to help fund a long-term solution to homelessness. It’s all too easy to click ‘like’ online or add your name to a petition but actions like this - giving up your bed and sleeping rough in the streets - show that these young people want to do more, that the issues really mean something to them. It’s hugely commendable and sets a fantastic example.”

Adam Lang, Head of Policy and Communications at Shelter Scotland, said: “It’s great to see this group of young people taking an interest in the issue of homelessness.

“We share their concern about an apparent increase in people sleeping rough. While there are no official statistics which can tell us how many people sleep rough in Scotland we estimate that as many as 5000 people endure this during the course of a year. This is only the tip of the iceberg of homelessness with almost 30,000 households assessed as homeless last year and 10,500 living in temporary accommodation.

“All unintentionally homeless people in Scotland have a legal right to settled accommodation from their local authority. However, the shortage of affordable housing means some of the most vulnerable people in the country are falling through gaps in the safety net. That’s why we’ve launched our campaign, Homeless: Far From Fixed, which is calling for a new national homelessness strategy to ensure we finally have a home for everybody.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to the cause can go to justgiving Social Bite.