Scotmid Co-operative is funding a community hub at the Social Bite Village, a project to help homeless people in Edinburgh.
The village is an initiative from Social Bite – a social enterprise sandwich shop which employs homeless people. It will help residents tackle issues that have troubled them in society and help them back onto the jobs’ ladder as well as adding a fresh social housing offering for those in need.
The energy-efficient, eco-friendly community hub will create a safe, stress-free and inspiring communal space for residents to relax and engage with one another.
One key component of the project is helping residents learn life skills such as money management and cooking. It also offers a place to meet mentors or health visitors to help get their life back on track.
Scotmid chief executive John Brodie said: “This is an incredibly important initiative and, as soon as we were made aware of it, Scotmid was keen to help
wherever possible. Scotmid is committed to making a difference to the lives of our communities and the Social Bite Village is a real example of this.
“We are really excited about what can be achieved and how this innovative project can address the homelessness situation in Scotland.”
Social Bite co-founder, Josh Littlejohn MBE, thanked Scotmid for their sponsorship and says the project will offer credible alternative to what he believes is a ‘broken temporary accommodation system’ for homeless people.
“The Community Hub is an integral part of the Social Bite Village and will play a vital role in the day-to-day lives of our residents,” he said. “It will be a place where they can relax, dine and socialise with each other in a safe environment, as well as receive the necessary help and support they need to integrate back into society where they belong.
“I am so grateful to Scotmid for their generous donation to fund this part of the project, and can’t stress how much of a difference this will make to the lives of those soon to be moving into the village.”
Social Bite started as a sandwich shop on Rose Street in Edinburgh in August 2012 and has now grown to five shops in Scotland, two large staff canteens in Edinburgh, a central production kitchen in Livingston and one of the country’s leading independent corporate catering businesses.
One quarter of Social Bite’s staff are homeless and the charity has received visits from Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It is the largest distributer of free fresh food to the homeless in the UK, giving out over 100,000 items of food and hot drinks per year.