Rock Trust marks 30 years of work with ‘sofa stories’ events to highlight homelessness
Scotland’s youth homelessness charity Rock Trust is marking 30 years of working supporting vulnerable and at-risk young people by bringing the issue of youth homelessness right into the core of the community.
The charity’s self-styled ‘Sofa Stories’ installation and engagement events are taking place in community spaces across the nation during the lead-up to World Homelessness Day, on the 10th of October. The aim of the event is to highlight the hidden nature of youth homelessness.
Many of us associate homelessness with rough sleeping and rooflessness, but this isn’t the case for 7,303 young people in Scotland.
Many young people, through relationship breakdown or trauma, end up sleeping on sofas (sofa surfing) or floors of friends and even strangers for short periods of time, placing them at great risk of exploitation and abuse, and their future at risk. Because of this, Rock Trust is using its 30th anniversary year to make the invisible nature of youth homelessness visible.
The Sofa Stories event dates include:
- Wednesday 6th October – St John’s Shopping Centre, Perth, from 10.00am
- Thursday 7th October – Kingsgate Shopping Centre, Dunfermline, from 10.00am
- Friday 8th October – Livingston Designer Outlet, Livingston, from 10.00am
- Saturday 9th October – Leith Walk Police Box, Edinburgh, from 10.00am
- Sunday 10th October – St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church, Edinburgh, from 10.00am
Scottish Government data showed there were nearly 9000 youth homelessness applications in 2019/20, and this is expected to have risen during the course of the pandemic.
Not only has Rock Trust survived the pandemic, but it was able to meet the increased demand of homeless young people and expand its service provision into Perth and Fife. To mark the 30th year and display its commitment to inclusivity, Rock Trust is bringing its story to you!
Kate Polson, CEO of Rock Trust, said: “It is incredibly important that we all recognise the extent of the youth homelessness crisis in Scotland, the majority of which is hidden from community view. Young people have so much potential if given the right support from their communities and that begins by having a conversation about what exactly youth homelessness is and how we can work together to fix it. The response from local businesses and communities has been fantastic, all willing to make time and space for us to engage in this conversation and ultimately, to bring more people on board with the mission to end youth homelessness.”
Iain Allan Mills, project manager at Rock Trust, added: “We’re reaching out to local communities by using an installation that will hopefully get people to stop, engage with our team and ask questions about the nature of youth homelessness. Come and talk to us, find out what we do, learn about our projects and how you can do your part in preventing a young person from becoming homeless, and supporting young people out of homelessness.”