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The Community

Social Bite Village – a place of hope & community

Our ideas are rooted in best practice of community development and have also been informed directly by the experiences of people affected by homelessness.

In Edinburgh, there are significant numbers of people housed in emergency temporary accommodation. Many are currently housed in B&Bs for months at a time without the facilities of a normal house and with little support to help them break out of a cycle of homelessness.

Cyrenians bring almost 50 years of experience providing support within residential therapeutic community models to those affected by homelessness. Cyrenians will develop and maintain a community living model providing support for the Social Bite Village’s 20 residents, through a person-centred approach that will encourage them to find their way to a happier, healthier future and a place of belonging, security and hope.


During the 12-18 month period that residents live on site, we provide extensive support in the following areas:

•    Cooking lessons
•    Budgeting
•    Counselling
•    Volunteering opportunities and placements
•    Employment opportunities and placements
•    Sport and meditation facilities
•    Support in applying for permanent accommodation
•    Any other support requirements needed
•    Significant Period of Aftercare when they move into a permanent tenancy

The Support team at the Village will be made up of a mixture of employed professionals, and volunteers who are passionate about people and helping them reach their full potential. The team will include a Manager, 2 x Key Workers, 2 x Community Builders, Administrator and a range of volunteer roles.


Social Bite Community –
life changes through shared living

The Social Bite Community is to be a place of hope, change and human flourishing built on trusted relationships and the taking of opportunities for transformation created by living in a community.

Members of the Social Bite Village, 20 in number, commit to living a community life, by which is meant the shared living of eating and working together and supporting each other in times of challenge and of celebration.

Members commit to making an active contribution to the community as a means of developing their own skills, confidence and self-reliance and with a view to supporting the people who will follow in their footsteps.

Members journey on a path of voluntary work, community chores, participating in a Health and wellbeing programme, training/support opportunities, work placements and employment as well as participation in the community life of eating and socialising together.


Some more established community members will be encouraged and supported to act as peer mentors for newer members, acting as role models and part of the overall support structure. They are known as Community Angels.

A number of local businesses and well as others across Edinburgh have already offered a variety of placements and potential employment opportunities.  Several local and citywide community groups have also offered their support. Social Bite Community intends to be a good neighbour, respectful of those living close by and contributing positively to the wider community of which they have become part.

First residents

The village will be ready in Spring 2018 for its very first residents. We plan to have a number of occupancy phases until full occupancy is achieved in Autumn 2018. We aim to identify 6 residents during phase 1; we would like these residents to help develop a way of living at the community by participating in decision making about how the village will operate. It is also anticipated that this first phase of residents will be able to act as peer mentors to those in the remaining occupancy phases.


Who will live in the village?

Mainly people currently in emergency or temporary accommodation (B&B’s, hostels etc.) Residents will make an active contribution to the community whilst developing their own skills, confidence and self-reliance.

What kind of things will residents do in the village?

There will be volunteering and training opportunities, work placements and a dedicated programme of well-being. As well as cooking and eating together, and a range of social and sporting opportunities to get involved with.

How long will residents stay in the village?

After 12-18 months we will support residents transition into permanent accommodation and provide pathways to mainstream employment, supporting their journey back in to wider society. After 12-18 months another 20 residents’ will be welcomed into the village.

What will Cyrenians staff in the village do?

Residents will be encouraged to be involved in their own support planning process to define and realise their own goals and aspirations. Each person will have a personalised action plan with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. This will encourage a creative problem-solving approach that will increase their skills, confidence and self-esteem.

How do I volunteer at Social Bite Village?

Register to volunteer at


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