Blog: Why I am sleeping in the park – Karen Anderson

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A team from A&DS is joining 9,000 others in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, on the 9th of December for the World’s largest ever sleepout to raise funds and awareness about homelessness. In the run up to the event we asked those taking part to outline what motivated them to sign up. Here Karen Anderson, A&DS Board, tells her story:
I grew up in the pre-Thatcher days when house prices and rents were relatively affordable, council houses had not been sold off and there was not such a huge gap (as my mother put it)  between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. Lanarkshire was not a wealthy area, but homelessness was not an issue. Later as a student in Glasgow I learned of the Great Eastern Hotel and other hostels but I never saw anyone sleeping in the street – other than an occasional drunk.

Out in the Cold

In the 80s that started to change and now people sleep out in all weathers in all our Scottish cities and many of our towns.The number is increasing and too often I find myself just walking on by, an apologetic,  embarrassed  ‘spectator’; saddened that we don’t seem to have the resources or the will to engage properly with those that are quite literally ‘out in the cold’. It seems incredible to me that things have got worse not better in my lifetime. Participating in the Social Bite Sleep in the Park night means I can play a small part by raising some funds for a charity that recognises that to thrive everyone needs supportive ‘society’ – the very thing Thatcher denied. Learn all about and support Social Bite’s work and approach at
Please consider supporting Karen and the A&DS team in reaching their fundraising target. You can make a donation here.

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