New homeless campaign
Sleep in the Park to be staged in four Scottish cities
Josh Littlejohn announces this year’s homeless campaign (pic: Terry Murden)
Homeless campaigner Josh Littlejohn today announced he will be repeating his Sleep in the Park project this year and extend it to four cities.
More than 8,000 braved a bitter cold night in Edinburgh in December when they raised £4 million and he is expecting 12,000 to sleep out in the capital, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen when he hopes to raise £6m.
Among the performers will be Amy MacDonald, who returns to the stage after last year’s events. She will be joined on the bill by fellow Scot KT Tunstall.
They will be performing in all four cities on the night. Helicopter flights have been funded by prominent Glasgow based businessman Andrew Devlin
Comedian Fred MacAulay will host the Edinburgh event and Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh will perform this year’s bedtime story. The full line up for each city including acts, special guests and hosts will be announced in the coming months.
The events takes place in Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh; Duthie Park, Aberdeen; Slessor Gardens, Dundee;and Kelvingrove Bandstand (tbc), Glasgow.
Mr Littlejohn, who was appointed an MBE for his campaigning efforts, said: “Last year, 8,000 people took part in the world’s largest sleep out in Edinburgh, and raised and incredible £4million in the process. Everyone who gave up their beds that night caused a sea change in Scotland’s fight against homelessness and have funded a raft of major projects, including a major ‘Housing First’ initiative which is expected to take 800 rough sleepers off the streets by 2020.
“For Sleep in the Park 2018 we’re doing something that has never been done before – a simultaneous multi-city sleep out. We’re asking for 12,000 people in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee to keep the momentum going and raise £6million.
Amy MacDonald, performing at last year’s event, returns this year (pic: Terry Murden)
“We were completely blown away by the thousands of people who joined this movement and supported Sleep in the Park last year. We want to build on this across the whole of Scotland. By organising these events locally, we will invest the funds so that homeless people in those cities are housed and given the support they need to get back on their feet.
“The money raised from Sleep in the Park 2018 will be put towards rapidly rehousing rough sleepers and providing them with support. We’ll make sure that the most vulnerable members of society – for example people coming from the care system or prison – don’t end up homeless. The funds will also go towards a number of other programs that will be a catalyst for long-term structural change.
“By coming together, we can accelerate the pace of change in Scotland and create the political mandate to truly end homelessness here. I fundamentally believe that the statistics of homelessness in Scotland are not insurmountable. By collaborating, and treating homelessness as a political priority, I believe that Scotland can be a country where everyone has a place to call home.”