DC Thomson backs Aberdeen’s Sleep in the Park event

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The company behind the Evening Express is backing an Aberdeen charity event that hopes to eradicate homelessness.

DC Thomson, publisher of the EE and its sister paper the Press and Journal, has 50 staff participating in Sleep in the Park this weekend.

The event, organised by social enterprise Social Bite, will see thousands of people across the country, including more than 1,800 in Aberdeen, spending a night outside to boost funds.

The cash the project brings in will be used to fund Housing First, a scheme that has all but eradicated rough sleeping in other countries.

The project aims to provide a “wrap-around” service to people who are struggling with issues that present a barrier to social housing.

Users will be able to get help for addiction or mental health issues, should they need it, along with a flat.

More than 800 properties have been released to the project, including 120 in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park: Sign up to make a difference

Ellis Watson, executive chairman of DC Thomson Media, issued a rallying call to staff at offices in Aberdeen and Dundee, with 50 people coming forward to take up the challenge.

Northwood, the company’s charitable arm, has also pledged to double the total amount raised by staff, just shy of £20,000 so far.

Ellis himself has raised just under £6,300 for the charity.

He said: “On Saturday night I will be sleeping with 50 of my DC Thomson colleagues and several hundred strangers for an extraordinary cause.

“We have teams sleeping rough in Duthie Park and Slessor Gardens in Dundee to raise vital cash to help eradicate the scourge of homelessness in Scotland.

“These amazing individuals have already raised almost £20,000 which our wonderful charitable trust Northwood will double through its funds match scheme.

“It will be a tough and very cold night but I am sure it will also be a tremendous amount of fun.”

He added: “Everyone can feel proud knowing they have done something remarkable that will genuinely change people’s lives.”

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As well as Ellis, the great and the good of Scottish life have given their support to the event.

KT Tunstall and Amy Macdonald have pledged to perform at all four events in Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh in one night, thanks to the use of a helicopter.

At the Aberdeen branch of the event Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader will be hosting and Dons boss Derek McInnes will be reading a bedtime story to the fundraisers braving the cold.