Kelso sleepout awakens awareness of homelessness

Social Bite, the Scottish charity aiming to bring an end to homelessness, has praised the volunteers who staged the first Borders 'Wee Sleep Out' in Kelso at the weekend.
Social Bite, the Scottish charity aiming to bring an end to homelessness, has praised the volunteers who staged the first Borders 'Wee Sleep Out' in Kelso at the weekend.

Social Bite, the Scottish charity aiming to bring an end to homelessness, has praised the volunteers who staged the first Borders ‘Wee Sleep Out’ in Kelso at the weekend.

Around 100 people were involved in the event organised in conjunction with the Scottish Government’s ‘Year of Young People’, including pupils from Borders primary and secondary schools, parents, teachers, youth helpers and members of the Quarriers schools service.

The event was the brainchild of Kelso High School S6 student Livvy Ferguson and with senior students from Selkirk High School, they pulled together a successful sleepout (albeit indoors as the weather turned nasty and children as young as eight took part).

With sponsorship from Scottish Borders Housing Association, entertainment was provided by Borders singer-songwriter Erin Highton, award-winning teenage poet Matt Sowerby, the M-Pulsive dancers from Michelle Douglas School of Dance and disco, while the event was opened by Social Bite’s co-founder, Dr Alice Thompson.

Alice told us: “The feedback has been tremendous, from people on the night and many who couldn’t make it, but want to be part of it next year, so the great thing from our point of view is that it has really raised the level of awareness of Social Bite and what we are trying to do in campaigning to bring an end to homelessness across Scotland.”

She added: “We believe Scotland is a small enough country, a collaborative enough country and a compassionate enough country where no one should have to be homeless, and the Borders has shown itself to be all of those things.”

Livvy said: “It was what I hoped it would be and it was great to see so many young people from across the Borders buy into the idea of supporting the campaign to end homelessness. We don’t see as much homelessness on our streets in the Borders as you do in the cities, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.”