AN ALLOA woman will join thousands of people in sleeping rough in Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens next month.

Teresa McNally will be part of a team from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) taking part in the Social Bite Sleep in the Park on Saturday, December 9.

A volunteer board director with SFHA, she has joined three of the organisation's staff in raising funds to support Social Bite's vision of providing homeless people with housing, rehabilitation and job opportunities.

Teresa, 74, told the Advertiser why she has decided to endure Scotland's cold winter climate for a night.

She said: "I think at this time of year, [it's] to highlight that we still have people sleeping rough in our streets. This seems to be the time to think a lot more about it.

"It's about the time of year and there needs to be more housing policy changes to meet the needs of vulnerable people."

A former elected councillor, Teresa is passionate about helping homeless people get back on their feet and explained they look to raise about £3,000 as a group.

She added: "It just doesn't seem right, in the 21st century. The United Kingdom is a very rich country compared to many places in the world.

"I'm going to go along with the attitude that I probably won't sleep. A lot of friends have donated things to keep me warm, including a small cardboard box, which will be fun.

"I think the atmosphere on the night in the gardens will be great because there will be about 9,000 people taking part."

The Social Bite Sleep in the Park will also see musicians such as Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Frightened Rabbit and Amy Macdonald busking stripped back acoustic sets.

Comedian Rob Brydon will host the event and actor John Cleese has even agreed to head along to read a bedtime story.

Diane Cooper, head of business development at Scottish Federation of Housing Association, who is also a part of the team, said: "The SFHA is proud to support Sleep in the Park which will not only raise vital funds for Social Bite's mission to end homelessness but help to highlight the issue of rough sleeping in Scotland.

"We have an ambitious fundraising target of £3,000 and would really appreciate any donations that will help us meet this.

"We are excited to be taking park and look forward to joining our members who are also supporting the event."

If you would like to sponsor Teresa and the rest of the SFHA team visit