Charity Social Bite plans village for recovering addicts in Dundee

A £2 million village for recovering addicts is to be built in Dundee.

The charity Social Bite has copied its model already in use in Edinburgh to support homeless people as a prototype for its recovery village in Dundee.

It will provide 15 eco-friendly, pre-fab houses and a community hub, and expert treatment for recovering addicts in the city and other council areas, working with charities We Are With You and The WM Sword Charitable Trust.

Residents will be given help to find permanent accommodation, and there will be communal dining areas and gym facilities as well as counselling rooms.

In Scotland last year, 1,051 drug-related deaths were recorded – nearly three per day, which was the highest rate in Europe and triple the rate of the next worst affected country.

Dundee had marginally fewer drug deaths than Glasgow.

Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn (pictured) said: “We all know the problem with drug deaths in Scotland and Dundee over the years.

“The human toll is profound. Behind each statistic lies individual and familial suffering, with communities losing loved ones.

“Deprivation exacerbates the crisis, with those in the poorest areas 16 times more likely to die from drug misuse.

“The recovery village will help people on their journey towards recovery by providing a safe and rehabilitative living environment and expert support.

“We are delighted to see that the city is taking the international lead on what could become a pioneering model for tackling addiction amongst vulnerable people.”

Social Bite is in discussion with Dundee City Council on a site for the project and expects to be able to submit a full planning application before the end of the year.

Funding pledges of £1.6 million, alongside £50,000 from the Tay Charitable Trust, will cover the majority of the £1.95 million construction budget.

The WM Sword Charitable Trust has made a £1.5 million pledge towards the project in memory of its benefactor, Dundee entrepreneur Bill Sword.

The Insights Foundation has pledged £100,000 of additional support.

Lynne Henderson, trustee of the WM Sword Charitable Trust, said: “The recovery village is a fantastic idea and the ambition and vision is something that we know the city will get behind and become proud of as it gets up and running.

“My father was incredibly proud of Dundee and he would have been delighted to know that the fruits of his many businesses were now going to help Dundonians at their time of greatest need.”

Andy Lothian, chief executive of the Insights Group, said: “The Insights Foundation are thrilled to support this this vital initiative to create a world leading recovery facility for vulnerable people in our home city, and I can’t wait to see it come to life.”

Social Bite has made eradicating homelessness in Scotland a goal and has worked with international celebrities including George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Prince and Princess of Wales to highlight the work of its cafes and the Edinburgh homeless village.

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