Hearts And Hibs To Join Thousands In UK's Largest Ever Charity Sleep Out

27 September 2017, 14:20 | Updated: 27 September 2017, 14:21

Sleep in the Park

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

Raising money for homeless people across Scotland, participants from Hearts and Hibernian will put their historic rivalry to bed for an evening and spend a winters night in the city centre.

As many as 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."

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 Hearts of Midlothian and Hibernian, and raising funds to help tackle the issues of homelessness.

Hibs chief executive, Leeann Dempster, added: "Hibernian are pleased to back Social Bite's Sleep in the Park event and wider efforts to end homelessness in Scotland."

"Both clubs recognize 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."

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

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 £3000.

Social Bite started as a sandwich shop in Rose Street in 2012 but has now grown to five shops across Scotland, two large canteens in Edinburgh and a central production kitchen in Livingston.

One-quarter of Social Bite's staff are homeless, and are the largest distributor of free fresh food to the homeless in the UK, giving out over 100,000 items of food and hot drinks per year.