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Contractors give a helping hand to Social Bite

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Construction has a reputation as a hard-bitten, cynical industry. Certainly, watch any of the “prank” videos on sites such as OntheTools and (funny as many of them are) you get an impression of an industry that lives up to its stereotypical, male, work-hard/play-hard image.  Yet it’s also the case that many, if not most, firms in our line of work do a lot for charities and good causes.  

We were particularly interested in learning that Robertson Civil Engineering has provided pro bono civil engineering and enabling works for the accommodation modules at the Social Bite Village in Edinburgh.  

Social Bite is an extraordinary success story: a charity founded by Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thomson which aims to provide a safe living environment for homeless people in Edinburgh. Starting with a sandwich shop (it now has five, in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen), it has become a mass movement, aided by celebrity sponsors such as George Clooney, and its mass sleep-out in Edinburgh last year raised huge sums or money for the homeless.

The Social Bite Village is a ground-breaking idea – an innovative, low cost, safe living environment for up to 20 people for around 12 -18 months. During their time in the Village, residents will receive extensive support, learn new skills, get work placements and get their life back on track before transitioning into permanent accommodation and pathways to mainstream employers, supporting their journey back into society. After 12-18 months another 20 residents will be welcomed into the village.

Robertson’s involvement in the two-phase programme included groundworks and the construction of roads, footpaths and hardstandings.  A number of their subcontractors provided plant, labour and materials, including excavation work from Gordon Bow, small plant and tools from GAP Group, surfacing works from GGK, construction materials from Grafton, dry aggregate from Tarmac and fill materials from Neil Williams Haulage. Further supply chain support came from Jarvie Plant Hire, MATtest, MGM Timber and RJT Excavations.  Well done to all of them – it is brilliant to see the industry taking an active part in supporting such a fantastic charity. We hope that some of those helped by the Social Bite Villlage might subsequently take up opportunities in the construction industry – perhaps then being involved in building a second Social Bite Village – now that would be another good news story.

Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment






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