Edinburgh Napier at Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park

December 15, 2017

On Saturday, 9 December 2017, a team of Edinburgh Napier University students and staff with sleeping bags in tow set out to Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh to participate in Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park – a movement to end homelessness in Scotland.

The Edinburgh Napier team raised over £11,000 – an absolutely tremendous effort towards such a worthy cause. On the night, over 8,000 people experienced what it is like to sleep out on a cold winters night, and the spotlight was shone on the plight of homelessness. Some of our colleagues from the Edinburgh Napier team have kindly shared their experiences of being part of this inspirational movement – take a read below.

“After some inspirational speeches and great entertainment it was slightly unreal to wake up the following morning beside Edinburgh Castle with my sleeping bag covered in frost and my water bottle sitting beside me frozen! Of course it was also clear that this was only a small insight into what homeless people have to go through night after night without having the many layers of clothing that I was wearing, or money in their pocket to buy food and drink from the nearby refreshment areas. I feel incredibly proud to work for an organisation where such a large number of colleagues really wanted to make a difference either through sleeping out or through their generous sponsorship. What a great team effort!”

– Brent Hurley, Portfolio Manager (Strategic Change), Edinburgh Napier University

“Homelessness is a problem that we need to tackle in Scotland and I wanted to do something and try to make a difference. I also really want our students to understand how they can have a positive impact on their community by being active rather than cynical. I was so proud of my staff and student colleagues who slept out when it was so cold! I’m just glad I don’t have to do it every night…

The fundraising effort goes on though, right up to Christmas Eve. Please help us fight Homelessness in Scotland here.” 

– Nick Fannin, Head of Bright Red Triangle, Edinburgh Napier University

© Social Bite @socialbitebusiness

“Going into this experience, I thought I was over prepared with the number of clothes and layers I had on…I was really wrong! I was so cold I couldn’t lie down and had next to no sleep the whole night, with whatever sleep I had being broken. However I am very glad I did it, the atmosphere of unity was incredible and I feel we all made a collective effort to help end homelessness.
To think people have to do this every night in more dangerous circumstances without as many comforts that we had is horrifying, and has made me appreciate those little luxuries we have more. Well done to Social Bite and everyone involved for raising awareness and making a difference.” 

– Christine Mackay, Laboratory Technical Assistant, Edinburgh Napier University

“In the lead up to the event I wasn’t, somewhat naively, expecting sleeping out in the park to be too difficult. A little uncomfortable perhaps but nothing too bad. That notion was dispelled within 15 minutes of settling into my sleeping bag. I managed to sleep, very lightly, for around a half hour or so but I found myself getting colder and colder to the point where I gave up trying to sleep after a couple of hours and went to find a fire pit!

I was wrapped up in a lot of cold weather gear and had a hot shower and warm bed to look forward to, but even though it was only for one night I really struggled. That experience rammed home what those sleeping rough have to endure on a nightly basis.”

– Mark Skinner, Senior IT Developer, Edinburgh Napier University

Overall, the amazing people sleeping out and their supporters raised over £2.7 million, plus an additional £0.5 million donated by Clydesdale Bank and an anonymous supporter, bringing the total to an incredible £3.7 million.

Currently, a total of 495 homes across the central belt of Scotland have been secured for homeless people. The money raised will help fund the support structure for the people moving into these tenancies. This will include addiction support, getting a bank account in their name, support with mental health, helping them into employment and more – removing them from the cycle of homelessness and finally including them in our society.

Together we have all taken a massive step toward ending homelessness in Scotland. Social Bite will be announcing the final amount raised on Christmas Eve, which means there is still time to donate to this worthy cause. You can find our Edinburgh Napier team fundraising page here – any additional donations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you from all of us at Edinburgh Napier for your support, and as a thank you from Social Bite, take a look at this video they put together from the night.

Bright Red Triangle