Edinburgh fast food worker paid for dozens of meals for homeless

A FAST-food worker has become an internet sensation after handing out 30 cheeseburgers to rough sleepers on the streets of the Capital.

Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 6:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 3:32 pm
Robert Aiken handed out free McDonald's food to the city's homeless. Picture: Toby Williams

Robert Aitken travelled from his home in Fife to Edinburgh on Friday night before splashing out £70 at McDonald’s in Princes Street.

He then spent three hours serving up burgers and fries to those in need in the city centre.

A photo of Robert carrying out his good deed has since been shared more than 70,000 times on Facebook – sparking donations for the 24-year-old to continue his sterling work.

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Robert, who works for mobile phone firm EE and McDonald’s, said he had become concerned over the plight of the city’s homeless during his frequent trips across the Forth. He had previously bought sandwiches and drinks for rough sleepers before Friday’s mass feeding.

Robert told the News: “I’ve thought about doing what I did on Friday for some time. My aim is to raise awareness of these people and what some of them have gone through.

“Homeless people are human beings, they’ve got feelings and want exactly the same as everyone else.

“Whenever I’m out shopping in Edinburgh, if I see a homeless person I will stop and buy them a sandwich and a drink. I think nothing of it.

“I never give them money because you don’t know what they are doing with it, but by giving them food it always makes me feel better about myself because at least I know they’ve eaten something.”

After spending time chatting with rough sleeper “Davie” on Friday night, big-hearted 
Robert decided to launch an online fundraising campaign.

He said: “Davie was a veteran who had served his country for 13 years but had to leave because he has post traumatic stress disorder.

“It really touched my heart and just shows that some of these people are in this position through no fault of their own.”

So far, more than £1000 has been raised and Robert, from Glenrothes, plans to keep feeding Edinburgh’s homeless.

He said: “I decided to come through to Edinburgh because you often see the homeless sitting on the streets but in Glenrothes you don’t.

“I’m overwhelmed with the amount of times my post has been shared online and I’m so thankful to everyone that has donated to my JustGiving Page.

“I was hoping for a just a few hundred pounds and a couple of shares on Facebook page – I still can’t believe what’s happened.

“The feedback I’ve received it great and I will continue to help the homeless in Edinburgh, spending the money people have donated for them on more food.”