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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Thousands buy meals for the homeless

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Incredible response means homeless won't go without on the big day

Record numbers of Christmas dinners have been bought for homeless people after an annual fundraiser saw 20,000 pre-paid meals purchased in 10 hours.

Itison commenced its fourth annual festive fundraiser for Social Bite on Tuesday and within 10 hours, 20,668 vouchers had been donated to help feed rough sleepers in Scotland.

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, said: "Before our first Itison fundraiser in 2014, we were a small social enterprise and often ran out of food donated through our pay-it-forward scheme, and would have to turn people away or ask them to come back later.

"After the first Itison fundraiser ran, we were completely blown away by the response – over 32,000 vouchers were donated, allowing us to provide meals not just on Christmas Day but right throughout the year.

"Each year it gets bigger and bigger and since it launched we've never had to turn away a single person which is just incredible."

On Saturday, about 9,000 spent the night in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh as part of Sleep in the Park, organised by Social Bite.

The charity’s Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen cafes will open their doors to serve rough sleepers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to serve dinners with all the trimmings.