Hollywood superstar George Clooney has surprised shoppers in Edinburgh as he used his star power to highlight the plight of homelessness ahead of Christmas. The 54-year-old visited one of Social Bite's outlets in the Scottish capital, where patrons can buy homeless people food and hot drinks.
The organisation has five shops across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and plans to expand to Dundee. "The dream is that one day there will be a chain of Social Bites donating millions of pounds to many charities, and employing hundreds of people, 25% of whom will have been homeless," a statement on Social Bite's website read.
— Ally Young (@AllyYoung56) November 12, 2015
"We know that this dream will remain just a dream unless our food, service and value for money is the best in town. If you can keep buying your lunch from us, we promise to work incredibly hard to be the best sandwich shop in town and to make this dream a reality."
Clooney, a long-time human rights activist, is also expected to address a crowd of 2,000 at the Scottish Business Awards in the capital. The trips comes after the charity Shelter warned 100,000 children in the UK would be homeless this Christmas.
Scottish homelessness data from Shelter
10,666 households in temporary accommodation in Scotland. 2,775 (26%) of these were in bed and breakfast hotels and hostels.
2,805 households with dependent children and pregnant women in temporary accommodation across Scotland. 86 (3%) of these households were living in bed and breakfast hotels and hostels.
4,896 dependent children living in temporary accommodation across Scotland.
18 weeks is the average time spent by households in temporary accommodation, with a quarter of households spending over six months in temporary accommodation.
Source: Scottish Government, Quarterly temporary accommodation reference tables, September 2015
How many people are on council waiting lists in Scotland?
317,005 local authority homes in Scotland on 31 March 2015.
150,000 households on local authority housing waiting lists across Scotland, and a further 23,600 on transfer lists on 31 March 2015.
21,495 new local authority lets were made in 2014-15.
The 150,000 figure is likely an underestimate of the true level of need, and doesn't include households on lists for housing association homes (which, for example, is all the social housing in Glasgow).
Source: Scottish Government housing statistics dataset, Shelter Scotland