Social Bite has launched the Wee Sleep Out; a national awareness raising and fundraising campaign to get the young people of Scotland involved in the charity’s mission to end homelessness.
Wee Sleep Out is calling on all teachers, youth leaders, parents and guardians to challenge young people between 8 and 16 years old to get out of their beds, and their comfort zones by organising their very own Wee Sleep Outs on 9 November, as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
From back gardens to school grounds, living room floors to community halls, each Wee Sleep Out is putting young people in the driving seat and giving them the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents by leading on the development and delivery of their own sleep outs and being enterprising in their apporaches to gathering support and raising funds.
There will be no sign-up fee, and no minimum fundraising target to make this initiative accessible to all – Social Bite would of course be delighted if young people fundraise as much as they can to contribute to their nationwide movement to end homelessness.
Money raised from the Wee Sleep Out events will go towards Social Bite’s wider Sleep in the Park total, which includes supporting Social Bite’s major Housing First initiative, which is expected to take 800 rough sleepers off the streets by 2020.
A number of young people who organise their own Wee Sleep Outs will also have the opportunity to play a starring role across Sleep in the Park events on 8 December, sharing their personal experiences of delivering their own Wee Sleep Out to participants.
Alice Thomson, co-founder of Social Bite and organiser of the Wee Sleep Out, said: “The success of Sleep in the Park last year was overwhelming. To bring 8,000 people together and raise £4 million in the process was incredible, and this year we want the young people of Scotland to join us.
“There’s been a real appetite from the young people of Scotland looking to get involved, and a number of them got in touch after Sleep in the Park, offering their support. We even had Cody McManus, aged 9, brave the Beast from the East and sleep out in an Igloo in his back garden – raising £1,000 for the cause.
“We’re proud to launch the Wee Sleep Out during Scotland’s Year of Young People and give the young people of Scotland a voice. We want people of all ages to get involved with Social Bite’s mission to eradicate homelessness, and we’re inviting young people across the country to get creative and take the lead by organising their own Wee Sleep Out this year.”
Olivia Ferguson, a 16-year-old student at Kelso High School, took part in Sleep in the Park last year and contacted Alice after the event, keen to do something involving other young people. She said: “This a great opportunity for young people to come together to help end homelessness.
“Last year my family and I took part in the Sleep in the Park, which was a very humbling experience. I didn’t want my support to end there, so I got in touch with Alice and suggested an event in the Borders, and I can wait to organise a Wee Sleep Out.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:
“The Year of Young People 2018 provides us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate, showcase and most importantly empower young people to make a difference.”
“We are delighted to be supporting Social Bite’s Wee Sleep Out as part of Scotland’s current themed year. It provides a fantastic opportunity for young people across Scotland to lead the way in the delivery and development of events in their communities and at home to raise awareness of an important issue. 2018 is the time to give young people the power to create change and celebrate their spirit of creativity and innovation – we can’t wait to hear all the ways in which they plan to take part in the Wee Sleep Out.”
The Wee Sleep Out is now open for registration at www.weesleepout.co.uk
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