Generous north-east residents who spent a cold winter night under the stars managed to raise £540,000 towards ending homelessness.
People from across the north-east descended on Duthie Park in December for Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park, enduring temperatures as low as 2C as well as driving rain and wind.
The 1,800-strong crowd was entertained by musicians KT Tunstall and Amy Macdonald, while Scottish singing legend Eddi Reader was the headline act.
Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn and Mike Burns, chief executive of Aberdeen Cyrenians, also took to the stage to speak about the plight of the homeless in Aberdeen.
Simultaneous events were also held in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. Each had a famous person read a bedtime story, with Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes taking centre stage at Duthie Park.
The cash will go towards Social Bite’s flagship Housing First project. Under the initiative, more than 800 people who were previously homeless will be given somewhere to live, along with support from professionals for any issues that they may have.
As well as money from Social Bite, more than £6 million of funding has been handed over from the Scottish Government.
Josh said: “The amount of money that has been raised by Sleep in the Park is incredible and I’d like to extend a huge thank you to those in Aberdeen who braved the cold and slept out, donated or sponsored a team on the night.
“The money will make a huge difference to the most vulnerable people in our society and will help more than 800 people off the streets in Scotland. While we won’t end homelessness after one night, we have made a giant leap towards that goal.”
Housing First will be administered by Aberdeen Cyrenians, Turning Point Scotland and Aberdeen Foyer in the Granite City, where 120 flats have been relinquished by landlords, with Aberdeen being the only city in Scotland where private owners have given over their properties.
The project has been trialled in countries across the world, including Canada and Finland.