AN entrepreneur who set up a successful sandwich chain which helps the homeless said he is “honoured” to receive an MBE as he dedicated the award to people “marginalised” from society.
Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, receives the honour for services to social enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland.
The chain he helped found offers “suspended coffee and food”, which means customers can pay in advance for a coffee or any item of food from the menu and a local homeless person can go into the shop to claim it.
About a quarter of its staff have experienced homelessness.
The organisation has received backing from various high-profile figures.
George Clooney visited Social Bite’s Rose Street shop in Edinburgh in November last year while Leonardo di Caprio visited its sister restaurant Home in the Scottish capital last month.
Mr Littlejohn said: “I’m honoured to receive this award in recognition for my work with Social Bite.
“I would like to dedicate it to the hundreds of homeless people Social Bite works with in Scotland who are marginalised from society and have no stake in the economic system.
“I’m relatively young but I hope to dedicate the rest of my working life to helping people who have been excluded from the system.
“By working alongside the amazing Social Bite team – and other charities – I hope I can play my part in eradicating homelessness from Scotland and spread the social enterprise business model further afield.”
Social Bite also plans to provide a low-cost, supervised and safe living environment for up to 20 homeless people with 10 purpose-built homes in Granton, Edinburgh, and needs to raise £500,000 for the project.
Earlier this month, Olympic cycling veteran Sir Chris Hoy and around 300 of the most influential people in Scotland slept rough in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square to raise funds for the project.