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PICTURES: Leonardo DiCaprio arrives in Scotland to help feed the homeless

Leonardo DiCaprio arrives for a visit to Home by Social Bite sandwich shops in Edinburgh, which work to help the homeless  Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Leonardo DiCaprio arrives for a visit to Home by Social Bite sandwich shops in Edinburgh, which work to help the homeless Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Leonardo DiCaprio has swapped the glitz and glamour of Hollywood for an Edinburgh restaurant which helps the homeless on his first visit to Scotland.

The Oscar winner was invited to visit the latest Social Bite venture by co-founder Josh Littlejohn before he speaks at the Scottish Business Awards in the capital on Thursday night.

Details of his movements have been kept under wraps but he is expected to follow in the footsteps of fellow movie star George Clooney, who met staff at a Social Bite sandwich shop in Edinburgh last year before making the keynote speech at the award ceremony.

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DiCaprio is expected to meet staff and eat at Home, a new restaurant set up by Mr Littlejohn and Dean Gassabi, who owns the Maison Bleue restaurants.

It was set up to provide training and employment for members of the Social Bite Academy, a four-year paid course for homeless people.

Customers are also encouraged to “pay forward” meals for the homeless, who can attend a special service for those sleeping rough every Monday afternoon.

News of DiCaprio’s planned visit first emerged in June but he has not commented on it publicly.

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Social Bite has cafes in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen which operate the same “pay forward” scheme and employ a number of people who have previously been homeless.

It made worldwide headlines when Clooney visited the Edinburgh Rose Street branch while the Duchess of Cornwall has also popped in on a royal trip to support Social Bite’s work.
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Mr Littlejohn also set up the Scottish Business Awards, with recent high-profile speakers including Clooney, Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson.

Awards chairman Sir Tom Hunter said: “Leonardo is not only a famous actor, he is a pioneering environmentalist and committed philanthropist whose charitable work is making a global impact.

“To have him address our nation’s premier businesses and entrepreneurs is incredibly exciting.

“That the Scottish Business Awards is the largest awards dinner of its kind in the whole of the UK says a lot about the strength and ambition of Scotland’s entrepreneurial community, and November 17 is set to be another very special night.”

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