Festival of Kindness is back for 2023, encouraging Glaswegians to help homeless people over Christmas

Social Bite X itison are fundraising to purchase Christmas dinner and gifts for those experiencing homelessness.
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Two Scottish social enterprises are collaborating for the tenth year, launching a festive fundraising campaign which aims to provide respite for those experiencing homelessness during the festive period. Social Bite and itison are inviting the public to purchase vouchers that will go towards Christmas dinners and gifts as part of their Festival for Kindness. Over the past decade they have already generated over £3 million for the cause from upwards of 700,000 donations. 

Members of the public who wish to make a contribution can do so by going straight to the itison website with vouchers starting at £5. Alternatively, they can scan one of the QR codes at the Christmas tree in front of the Social Bite store on Sauchiehall Street or inside Buchanan Galleries. Donations can also be made inside Social Bite. 

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Josh Littlejohn, founder of Social Bite said: “In 2014 we decided to open out Social Bite cafes on Christmas Day for people that were homeless but we didn’t have much money to rub together as a tiny little charity so we approached Ollie from itison and asked if he might run a deal on the website, asking visitors if they wanted to buy a homeless person dinner for just £5. 

“He asked how much we’d like to sell and my goal was 800 which meant we could open two cafes. He then asked what would happen if we sold more and as were struggling to feel people in the early New Year time, the idea was that we could roll it over and keep our funds topped up for a couple of weeks into January. 

“The deal launched and we were all glued to the laptop and we reached the 800 target in about ten minutes. We ended up selling 36,000 dinner vouchers in the two weeks before Christmas and that was the start of this incredible fundraising partnership that’s really turned out to be the life blood of Social Bite as a charity.

“Amid this cost of living crisis and after the pandemic we’re seeing an increasing number of people, that you might not have expected, who are really struggling to make ends meet and might be living in temporary accommodation and they might be really lonely there. It doesn’t just give the opportunity for a meal but also the loving company of the team and a sense of community as well.”

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