Hundreds of people are preparing to spend a night in the park to get an insight into the plight of homeless people.
Social Bite’s annual Sleep in the Park is being held in Aberdeen for the first time next weekend, with scores of people already signed up.
At the same time that they are bedding down in Duthie Park, similar events will be taking place in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow to raise vital funds for the Housing First initiative, aimed at getting people off the streets and into their homes.
Now organisers are making a final call for fundraisers to sign up before the deadline tomorrow. The sleep-out takes place on December 8.
In Aberdeen, those taking part will be entertained by Amy Macdonald, Eddi Reader and KT Tunstall.
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Aberdeen Football Club’s Derek McInnes, Stewart Milne and Mark Reynolds will also be in attendance.
Leona McDermid, Aberdeen Foyer’s chief executive, urged people to take part.
Aberdeen Foyer provides former homeless young people with supported accommodation alongside a range of education courses across the city and shire.
Ms McDermid said: “Homelessness has increased across the region this year, and for 16-25 year olds, the number has risen by a shocking 50%.
“A lack of stable employment and affordable housing, plus a rise in zero hour contracts and welfare cuts have all contributed to the rising number of north-east people without a permanent home.
“To have Sleep in the Park held in Aberdeen is a great way of raising funds and increasing awareness of homelessness across the local area.
“We hope people have fun with the great line-up, but also get a feel for what its like to sleep rough – how unsafe, cold and debilitating it can be.”
Aberdeen Foyer has collaborated with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen Cyrenians on Housing First.
The initiative has already launched in Scotland, with £3million of funding from Social Bite and the Scottish Government contributing a further £4m.
Private landlords, the local authority and housing associations in Aberdeen have already pledged 120 properties for the programme.
To find out more about Aberdeen Foyer’s work across the north-east, click here.
A team from Entier, a food company based in Westhill, have already raised more than £6,000 ahead of Sleep in the Park.
Mark Bannerman, Shawn O’Conner, Shane Pirie, Mark Pollock, Carrol Pollock, Fiona Bruce and Peter Bruce have been fundraising for weeks.
The group will be supporting Sleep in the Park on December 8, along with hundreds of others.
With a week to go until the event, Team Entier have already smashed their fundraising goal of £3,000, much to the delight of Fiona Bruce.
She said: “Our sleeping bags are ready for the night under the stars and we are super exited about the event.
“The support has been amazing – we had set our sites to raise £3,000, but have already smashed through that and are at £6,000.
“Taking part in Sleep in the Park will give us the opportunity to do even more to help the homeless both locally and across Scotland.”