2020 Annual Report

3 min read

Helping Social Bite keep feeding Scotland's homeless

Story synopsis

  • Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve collaborated with our One Million Futures social enterprise partners, helping them to survive and thrive.
  • Working alongside charity café chain Social Bite, we’ve provided strategic support to help the team to repurpose its business, as well as financial support for meals to help feed Scotland’s homeless.

People experiencing homelessness and poverty have been among the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many food and support services facing closure.

Social Bite, with founder Josh Littlejohn at the helm, runs free cafés for vulnerable people in Scotland. With the lockdown affecting many of its services, the organisation was determined to bridge the gap.

Reaching those in need

One of our Edinburgh-based partners, Kent Mackenzie, is a Social Bite trustee and board member and had been working with Josh to develop the charity.

“Within hours – if not minutes – of COVID-19 landing on our doorstep” explains Kent “Josh’s mind was turning to ‘How do I adapt this business to respond to this dire situation?’”

The answer came with the support of our consultants who, doing what they do best, helped the organisation to rethink its business strategy.

As a result, throughout lockdown, Social Bite's kitchens, cafés and teams have been redeployed to produce and deliver thousands of fresh food packs, meals and essential supplies to those who needed them. We’ve also offered further practical assistance as its operations develop.

A donation from Deloitte funded 8,800 meals in lockdown and we continue to offer further practical assistance as operations develop.

Distance not a barrier

This work has shown that, despite social distancing measures, communities can still come together to look out for the most vulnerable members of society.

Deloitte partner Kent Mackenzie continues: “In the current circumstances this project has proved particularly important to ensure people don’t go hungry and we are proud to be a part of the response effort.”

“Helping those in need is not the responsibility of only one individual or one organisation. We have worked with Social Bite for a number of years but expanded our support in these challenging times so that they can continue to make an impact that matters.”

“I have a huge passion for working with the community practically. With COVID and the situation we find ourselves in, the need to provide support to these communities and groups is even more acute.”

Kent Mackenzie, Deloitte partner

Supporting social enterprises

Social Bite are one of the many social enterprises supported through our One Million Futures social impact programme.

This initiative has now supported a million people with access to education and employment, through partnerships with more than 70 charities, schools and social enterprises.

Many of these organisations have faced significant challenges during the pandemic – at a time when critical frontline services have been needed the most.

To help, our Coronavirus Fundraising Appeal has supported a range of important initiatives, such as accommodation for rough sleepers, equipment for schools and call centres for people needing mental health support.

One Million Futures

Having achieved our ambition to impact positively on One Million Futures in 2020, we are now working towards supporting an additional 5 Million Futures across North and South Europe by 2030.

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