By Nathan Lee, TLE Correspondent
Hollywood star George Clooney arrived in Scotland today and visited a social enterprise sandwich shop that trains, employs and feeds local homeless people.
Staff at Social Bite, which gives 100 per cent of its profits to charity, recruits a quarter of its staff from homeless backgrounds, and runs a ‘suspended’ service where customers can pre-pay food for homeless people to claim later, welcomed Mr Clooney to their Rose Street shop in Edinburgh city centre.
Whilst in the shop, the award-winning actor and director handed over a donation to buy local homeless people lunch, as well as tucking into a sandwich himself.
Josh Littlejohn, the social entrepreneur who co-founded Social Bite, said: “George is an incredible guy, someone who has achieved real global fame but thinks nothing of visiting a local sandwich shop to chat to the workers and discuss the issue of homelessness.
“He was delighted to spend time with some of our formerly homeless staff and hear the stories of how they have transformed their lives through full-time work. The fact that he not only sampled the food himself, but also pre-paid meals for homeless people to claim later made it extra special.”
Littlejohn and business partner Alice Thompson set up Social Bite in 2012 after being inspired by meeting Nobel Peace Prize winner and Microcredit pioneer, Professor Muhammad Yunus, during a trip to Bangladesh. The company aims to compete with big-name UK lunchtime regulars such as Starbucks, Costa, Pret a Manger and Subway, while existing for a purely social mission.