Sleep in the Park in Edinburgh Princes Street Gardens

The five members of the Cruden Group ‘Sleep in the Park’ team, who, with around 8000 other attendees, braved sub-zero conditions to sleep rough for charity in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens last Saturday, have smashed their original target of £3000, by raising nearly £5300 to help eradicate homelessness in Scotland.

The team, consisting of sales and marketing director, Hazel Davies, head of business development, Gill Henry, head of construction (affordable), Frank Gallagher, site manager, Mike Robinson and contracts & safety assistant, Amy Jenkinson, endured ‘Baltic’ conditions overnight as temperatures plunged to nearly -6 degrees.

Hazel Davies said: “Sleep in the Park is an event we will simply never forget. Pre-sleep entertainment from Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and Frightened Rabbit warmed us up before John Cleese told us all a bedtime story. We also heard from Rob Brydon, Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Bob Geldof before we ‘retired’ for the night. Then, the freezing temperatures really began to bite hard. I honestly don’t think any of us have ever been so cold. We even had a layer of frost on our sleeping bags in the morning.

“The whole experience served as a sharp reminder of the awful conditions homeless people have to face, particularly at this time of year. We were all so grateful that we don’t have to do this for real every night but really pleased we were able to raise such a fantastic total for this very worthy cause. A big thank–you must go to all the companies and individuals who sponsored us.”

Organised by the charity, Social Bite, donations topped £3.6m as the event began. Co-founder, Josh Littlejohn MBE, said: “Tonight was the night when people from all walks of life came together in Scotland, to stick up for the most vulnerable people among us. This is the night that we collectively gave a voice to the people who have never had one. It is not a question of resource; it is simply a question of focus. And what the participants have all done tonight, by giving up their beds, is put a razor-sharp focus on the issue.

“We won’t end homelessness after one night, but we have made one giant leap towards that goal. And that is the victory of everyone who took part.”

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