Virgin Radio's Chris Evans backs new Social Bite cafe hoping to end homelessness

VIRGIN Radio host Chris Evans is backing a new café that aims to bring an end to homelessness.

The DJ was joined by Busted's Matt Willis and Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts this morning as they served up some tasty hot drinks at Social Bite's new café on The Strand, London.

The bustling area is the heart of the UK's homeless community with a large number of rough sleepers.

The social enterprise is committed to hiring at least one in four members of staff from the homeless community and has put in place a pay-it-forward system that encourages customers to buy food and drink that can be claimed by homeless people.

Josh Littlejohn MBE, Founder of Social Bite, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch a new coffee shop in central London. It’s such an incredible milestone for us all here at Social Bite.

"There are many great charities already working in London, but we truly believe that our social impact program is life-changing and provides something unique, having helped the lives of thousands we are excited to bring this change to the streets of London”.

Social Bite launched in Scotland 10 years ago and has become  the largest distributor of free fresh food to the homeless in the UK, giving out more than 180,000 items of food and hot drinks per year.

Its Edinburgh site has proved popular with A-listers Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney as well as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

And the organisation has also helped house rough sleepers in its Social Bite Village which is made up of 10 NestHouses each shared by two residents.

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A Community Hub gives residents a safe space to cook, eat and socialise together as well as a host of activities and training courses.

Sir Andrew Cubie CBE, Executive Chair of Social Bite, said: “My first involvement with homelessness issues was as Chair of the Shelter Housing Aid Centre in Edinburgh some 50 years ago, fast forward and it remains one of our deepest societal issues; with its core rooted in poverty and trauma.

"However, the work I have witnessed Social Bite do, previously from a distance and more recently at close proximity, has provided a renewed hope for positive change in our communities.

"This launch into London on Social Bite's tenth anniversary marks the continued commitment and passion for positive change and an end to homelessness through pioneering programmes.”

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