INTERNATIONALLY renowned homeless charity Social Bite has revealed it has chosen Dundee as the location for its next major project.

With the support of The WM Sword Charitable Trust, the charity is to build a brand-new Social Bite Recovery Village in the city.

The project will be tailored to provide accommodation and recovery support for vulnerable people struggling with addiction in Dundee and other Scottish local authorities.

The charity’s founder Josh Littlejohn said: “This is an incredibly exciting project for Social Bite and for Dundee.

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“It has been amazing to collaborate with the local community on developing something that will meet a great need in the city.

“We all know the problem with drug deaths in Scotland and Dundee over the years. The human toll is profound.

“Behind each statistic lies individual and familial suffering with communities losing loved ones. Deprivation exacerbates the crisis, with those in the poorest area 16 times more likely to die from drug misuse.

“The Recovery Village will help people on their journey towards recovery by providing a safe and rehabilitative living environment and expert support.”

The accommodation at the Dundee project will have 15 eco-friendly prefabricated “nest houses”, with a bedroom, kitchen, lounge area and storage.

The National: A sketch of what the site might look likeA sketch of what the site might look like (Image: Social Bite)

This will be alongside a community hub, complete with a communal dining space, gym facilities and counselling rooms.

Social Bite is in discussion with Dundee City Council on a site for the project and expects to be able to submit a full planning application before the end of the year.

The WM Sword Charitable Trust has made a £1.5million pledge towards the project in memory of the benefactor of the trust, the late Bill Sword, a well-known entrepreneur in Dundee.

The Insights Foundation is also backing the project with £100,000 of additional support.

Lynne Henderson, trustee of The WM Sword Charitable Trust, said: “The Trust has been looking for some time for a major project to support on top of the work we do on a smaller scale with dozens of charities in Tayside.

“The Recovery Village is a fantastic idea and the ambition and vision is something that we know the city will get behind and become proud of as it gets up and running.

“My father was incredibly proud of Dundee and he would have been delighted to know that the fruits of his many businesses were now going to help Dundonians at their time of greatest need.”

Andy Lothian, group CEO of the Insights Group, who have pledged £100,000 towards the project said: “Having supported Social Bite for over a decade, The Insights Foundation are thrilled to support this new recovery village in Dundee, addressing one of the city’s most pressing needs.

"I would like to encourage the business and philanthropic community to join ourselves and WM Sword in getting behind this vital initiative to create a world leading recovery facility for vulnerable people in our home city and I can’t wait to see it come to life.”

The funding pledges of £1.6m, alongside an additional £50,000 pledge from the Tay Charitable Trust will cover the majority of a £1.95m construction budget to enable the 15-unit project to be built and Social Bite is hoping that more businesses and individuals will come forward to support the project in Dundee and help to meet the full budget.

One of the project’s major advocates is Chelsea Cameron, a community champion of Scotland, who has spent years fighting for change in the treatment of addiction.

She wrote a forgiving open letter to her parents, who had struggled with addiction, for showing her the effects it can have. 

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Cameron said: “I know the devastation that addiction can cause to families and communities and I am delighted to support the Wm Sword Social Bite Recovery Village. It is a fantastic idea and something that will make a real difference.

“Social Bite have a great track record in innovative and effective programmes to help people who are among the most vulnerable in society and Dundee will benefit hugely from being the site of their next project. I wish we didn’t need it, but we do, and we should be proud to have it.”