Cosmo, Cole, Robert, Lachlan and Ollie (all aged 9) are the ‘Burnbrae Boys’ from Bonnyrigg, they are taking part in this year’s #WeeSleepOut and have smashed their target, raising almost £1000 for Social Bite’s mission to end homelessness.
Why did you decide to raise money for Social Bite?
COSMO: My mum took part in Sleep in The Park last year to raise money for Social Bite. I wanted to do it with her but wasn’t allowed so when she told me that this year the Year of Young People and Social Bite want us to organise our own Wee Sleep Outs I asked my Mum if I could do one with my friends and she said yes. We’ve heard about all the good things that have been done with the money raised last year, like the Social Bite Village and giving money to other charities like Grassmarket Community Project, and we want to help this year so they can help more homeless people.
How much did you know about homelessness before and since you started this fundraiser?
OLLIE: We didn’t know much except that people don’t have any homes and we’re really lucky that we do. Since we’ve started raising money we’ve learned a lot more – like not everybody sleeps on the streets but they can still be homeless because they don’t have a safe place to live. We met a big issue seller who sleeps in a church with 70 other people and even though she’s not sleeping on the street it’s still not a real home and it’s not good enough. We did a talk to our school and told them about the big number of children that are homeless in Scotland and it was 14,000 – that’s a lot and it makes us sad.
Where are you having the sleep out and why?
ROBERT: We’re doing the Wee Sleep Out so we can raise money to help homeless people. And the more everyone talks about it and do things to help, maybe other people will want to help homeless people too. We’re doing our Wee Sleep Out in my garden as it’s big and it has a bit of shelter in the corner in case it’s raining or snowing. And I’ve got a trampoline if we want to sleep on this and a man we spoke to who had been homeless said that this might help keep us a bit warmer as we won’t be on the ground.
Are you looking forward to it?
LACHLAN: Yes. We’re excited about it. At Sleep in the Park last year they had entertainment so we will be doing shows ourselves to keep each other entertained. And we’ve written a letter to David Walliams to ask if he’ll come and read us a bedtime story. He hasn’t got back to us yet! We don’t know how much sleep we’ll get as it will be really cold but at least we only have to do it for one night, not like homeless people. And we’re lucky as we will have lots of sweeties and in the morning we’re having a big breakfast.
How do you feel about the amount of money you have raised so far?
COLE: We’re really happy. We set ourselves a £150 target but we smashed that in a day. So then we made it £250 then £500 but we keep getting more. Our last target will be £1000 and if we reach that it will be amazing and much more than we ever thought. We still have our dress down day we’ve organised at school where people will be donating to not where their uniform for the day, so hopefully we’ll hit our target.
What does the Year of Young People mean to you?
It’s about young people in Scotland getting more involved in things and getting a chance to experience new things and help people. It lets us show compassion, respect, integrity and justice – our school values.
How have you been fundraising?
We set up a fundraising page online and a Twitter page where we are posting about what we’re doing. We’ve asked all our families and friends to donate and we’ve got our school involved too. We’ve done a talk in front of the school at Citizenship and we are having a dress down day where people can donate.
The Wee Sleep Out is a new initiative for #YOYP2018, working alongside Social Bite to help them in their mission to end homelessness in Scotland. Check out the conversations online by searching #WeeSleepOut and #YOYP2018 on Twitter.
We’ve also been to visit a Social Bite cafe and a charity that helps homeless people so we can find out more and keep telling people about why it’s so important.