Find out how Social Bite are changing the lives of many homeless people and how you can support them.
This year our Christmas theme is 12 days of giving. And we thought it’d be fitting to highlight a brilliant charity and give them a shout out for all the fantastic work they’re doing. Plus, in case you’re feeling generous, we’ve also listed a few ways you can help their cause.
You may have heard of Social Bite and their mighty mission to end homelessness. They even won a Special Recognition award at the 2019 Pride of Britain Awards. From opening their first sandwich shop in Edinburgh 6 years ago, their success has skyrocketed.
And they’ve had support from Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, George Clooney and a host of other celebs.
They tackle the problem of homelessness in many ways, but here are just a few of them.
Social Bite Sandwich shops and Vesta Bar & Kitchen
They have 5 sandwich shops in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Homeless people can enjoy some warm food and drinks throughout the day, or at a social supper in the evenings.
Vesta Restaurant and Bar in Edinburgh is also opened exclusively for homeless people to pop in on a Monday afternoon. And there are training opportunities for vulnerable people to learn new skills.
The social enterprises provide employment for 70 people, with 1 in 3 staff members understanding what it’s like to be homeless. They hand out over 140,000 hot drinks and meals to those who have no home to go to. At Christmas they also help spread the cheer with a Christmas meal, presents, warmth and company.
And there’s a food delivery service. So if you’ve got a meeting or business event, their fresh, local produce can be delivered directly to your office or party.
Social Bite Village
Working in Partnership with social charity Cyrenians, the Social Bite Village launched in May 2018. Its aim is to give 20 homeless people a safe and supportive environment to help them get back on their feet again.
The residents become part of a community and can get involved in activities like yoga, mountain biking or cooking classes. They can build their knowledge and confidence with work and voluntary placements.
The support continues after they leave, with a circle of partner organisations, as they move into permanent accommodation and adjust to their new life.
The World’s Big Sleepout
In 2016, Social Bite hosted the first ‘CEO Sleepout’ with 350 people sleeping outside for one night to raise awareness and vital funding. The number increased to 8,000 at ‘Sleep in the park’ in 2017 and 10,000 in 2018.
This year they’re taking it global with sleepout events planned all over the world – in places like Chicago, New Delhi, Brisbane and Amsterdam.
Closer to home there are events in London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Brighton, Dublin and Belfast. Under 18s can get involved in their own events with the Wee Sleepout.
Previous events have raised an incredible £7.65M, catapulting the issue into the forefront of the media and Scottish politics. Since then, 160 new jobs have been created and over 800 houses have been made available for homeless people.
How you can help
Register at the World’s Big Sleepout or sponsor those who are taking part.
Buy your lunch or snacks at a Social Bite sandwich shop or organise a delivery for your next event. You can also donate money towards an extra coffee so a homeless person can enjoy it when they come to the shop.
Buy a Christmas dinner for a homeless person by adding an extra £1 to your bill. Look out for the cafes and restaurants taking part in the #payitforward campaign.
Become a fundraising partner and help with fundraising events or volunteer work.
Check out the Social Bite website for more details on their projects or simply donate whatever you can afford.
Nominate a charity
If you’ve got a local charity, you’d like us to spotlight, then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org