CalMac boss roughs it for homeless charity

CalMac managing director, Martin Dorchester.
CalMac managing director, Martin Dorchester.

A managing director of one of the country’s biggest ferry companies will be swapping rough seas for rough sleeping in a bid to raise money for homeless charity Social Bite.

Martin Dorchester, chief executive officer of David MacBrayne Ltd., will join 100 business leaders in Edinburgh next month to raise funds and awareness for the organisation.

Each has signed up as part of the charity’s CEO Sleep Out in Charlotte Square on December 15.

Managing director of CalMac Ferries, which serves the Isle of Bute with two connections, between Rothesay and Wemyss Bay, and Colintraive and Rhubodach has long been a vocal supporter of social enterprise and responsible business behaviours; he is also chairman of FirstPort, which provides support, resources and funding to enable social enterprises to be established and grow, and which supported Social Bite get off the ground initially.

All money raised will help to fund Social Bite’s work with homeless people, including the development of an innovative village with houses built from shipping containers for 20 homeless individuals to live in for 12 months, with full support to help them get back on their feet.

Mr Dorchester said: “This small commitment on my part is the very least I can do to raise awareness. Yes, it will undoubtedly be cold. Yes, it will undoubtedly be uncomfortable. Yes, it will undoubtedly be somewhat daunting. But it is nothing at all in comparison to those for whom the unpredictable elements and fear are simply part of life.

“If my night of discomfort can make a tangible contribution towards breaking the cycle of homelessness, then it’s well worth a bit of a chill and a couple of aching bones.”

Donations in support of the sleep-out event, Social Bite and ultimately the thousands of Scots who find themselves homeless and on the streets can be made at