Social Bite founders Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson will today (4 September 2020) be awarded the 2020 President’s Medal Honorary Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. The College’s President’s Medal is awarded annually to mark outstanding work in the community either locally, nationally or internationally by a Fellow of the College.
Social Bite was established in 2012 as a sandwich shop in Edinburgh where profits were given to good causes and which gave free food and hot drinks to homeless people. Since then it has grown to a chain of five social enterprise sandwich shops across Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, as well as a food delivery service called “Social Bite Delivers”. Social Bite employs 70 people, of which around one third were formerly homeless.
In 2015, Josh and Alice set up Social Bite Fund, which has the aim of ending homelessness in Scotland, and started “Sleep in the Park” to both raise awareness and funding to homeless people. The College has been an active supporter of these events, and our President joined a group of staff and senior members at Sleep in the Park in 2018.
Awarding the Medal, College President Professor Jackie Taylor said:
“We all know of the direct link between homelessness and ill-health, so that’s why it’s vital that our medical profession works with others to address these inequalities at root cause if we are to do the best we can for our patients. Through their work with Social Bite Josh and Alice have made a significant impact in not only raising awareness of homelessness in Scotland, but in developing a range of practical solutions to address this social ill.
“Our College has tried to play its part in this by supporting charities which support homeless people through grants from our own HOPE Foundation, and by fundraising directly for initiatives like Social Bite’s “Sleep in the Park”.
“By awarding this honour, we want to play our small part in highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by homeless people in our society today, and to recognise the significant and substantial role that Josh, Alice and their team at Social Bite has played in addressing them.
Accepting the award as part of the College’s Virtual Admissions Ceremony, an online event held to admit new Fellows and Members to the College, Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson said:
“Thank you so much to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and Professor Jackie Taylor for the President’s Medal of 2020. It’s a great honour for Social Bite for receive this award. We can’t believe the recognition we’ve been getting the last little while and this is the type of thing that really helps elevate our work. “Building networks and working with other communities, such as the College, is really the way we’re going to work together to end homelessness in Scotland. Through this, we can spread our message and make sure as many people in communities hear about our work as possible. Thank you so much to the College – it’s a real honour and everyone at Social Bite is really delighted to receive this award. Thank you.”