Scotland’s most wealthy and influential people who slept out overnight for charity have raised more than £500,000 to build a homeless village in Edinburgh.
More than 300 of the most influential people in the country took to Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square on December 15 to sleep rough for the Social Bite CEO Sleepout to raise funds for the project.
Social Bite, a successful sandwich chain which supports and employs homeless people, plans to provide a low-cost, supervised and safe living environment for up to 20 homeless people with 10 purpose-built homes in Granton, Edinburgh, and needed £500,000 for the idea to come to life.
A statement on social media on Tuesday revealed the total gathered was £564,545.
The statement continued: “This figure has exceeded our original target of £500,000 needed to build a village for homeless and vulnerable people in Scotland.
“The money will not only be put towards the physical build but also towards an intensive support structure for the residents to help them get back on their feet.
“Thank you to everyone involved for making the first steps on that journey with us by funding our village project.”
Participants who included Olympic cycling veteran Sir Chris Hoy were served breakfast by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following their night out under the stars.
Work is expected to begin on the project early next year, with the first residents moving in by the summer.
It will be run by Social Bite with the EDI Group and the City of Edinburgh Council.
Earlier this month, Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, received an MBE for services to social enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland.
The organisation has received backing from various high-profile figures including Leonardo di Caprio who stopped for lunch at Social Bite venture Home in Edinburgh’s west end in November.
His visit followed that of Hollywood star George Clooney to Social Bite’s Rose Street branch in the city a year earlier.