Belfast Telegraph

Social Bite relishes Clooney visit

A sandwich shop owner is to welcome George Clooney later this year after the Hollywood star accepted an invite to support the business.

Josh Littlejohn is the co-founder of Social Bite, a social venture which helps the homeless community in Edinburgh and Glasgow by allowing customers to pay for food and drink for the vulnerable through its ''suspended coffee'' initiative.

Mr Littlejohn said he approached A-list actor Clooney, a "committed humanitarian", about visiting the chain and he agreed.

Clooney will meet employees at the Edinburgh shop on November 12 and deliver the keynote address at the Scottish Business Awards, founded by the 28-year-old entrepreneur.

He said: "It's a fantastic honour to be bringing one of the world's most famous men to Scotland and it is amazing that he is supporting Social Bite.

"He'll be visiting a Social Bite cafe to meet our staff and customers as well as sample the food while here, and who knows, he may even join the team and lend a helping hand behind the counter.

"For many of our team who until recently lived on the streets, this is a really amazing thing to look forward to."

The not-for-profit enterprise was set up in 2012 and over Christmas ran a hugely successful fundraiser to pay for festive dinners for those in need, with people donating enough for more than 36,000 meals.

One in four of Social Bite staff were previously homeless themselves.

Clooney co-founded the humanitarian charity Not On Our Watch with fellow actors Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and others.

The group campaigns to end atrocities in Darfur, Zimbabwe and and provide assistance to victims in areas of conflict.

The actor-director will address about 2,000 people at the Scottish Business Awards at the EICC, chaired by Sir Tom Hunter.

John Prendergast from Not On Our Watch said: "Not On Our Watch and our board member George Clooney hope to raise further awareness about the important impact charitable donations can have in making a difference in the world."

One lucky member of the public will get the opportunity to attend a private dinner with Clooney in Edinburgh by donating £5 to an online charity competition, with all proceeds going to Social Bite and Not On Our Watch.

To enter go to www.itison.com/Glasgow/deals/exclusive-win-dinner-with-george-clooney-in-edinburgh

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