Scottish charity, the Rock Trust, saw 100 people leave their comfy beds and brave the cold on Friday 4 November, for its annual Sleep Out at Edinburgh’s Festival Square.
The Sleep Out aims to raise funds to support young people across Scotland who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. It is the charity’s biggest fundraising event and this year’s event has raised over £40,000 so far with more expected over the next week or two.
Teams from Heriot-Watt University, Dune London, Islamic Society of Edinburgh University, DJ Alexander, Wood Mackenzie, Scottish Widows and the Alliance Trust are just a handful of those who slept at Festival Square for the night.
Rock Trust chief executive Kate Polson said, “We had a great turn out on Friday and the atmosphere was superb. Everyone came together to show their support for vulnerable young people across Scotland. It is great to see this level of awareness and support. It gives me hope that we will manage to eradicate youth homelessness in the future. That is our ultimate goal.
“We are really proud to announce that in our 25th year, we successfully formed the ‘Scottish End Youth Homeless Coalition’. We will work with Homeless Action Scotland, Heriot-Watt University’s Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research, LGBT Youth Scotland, the Glasgow Homelessness Network, Local Authority Housing Options Hubs, Young Scot, Who Cares? Scotland and the Scottish Government, to try to end youth homelessness in the next ten years. “
The charity added a few special events to this year’s Sleep Out to mark its 25th year. Teams took part in a ‘build your own shelter’ competition to win a Spa day for two at One Spa. Participants were also treated to a one off acoustic performance by Nasher – guitar legend from Frankie Goes to Hollywood – and the night came to a close with a bed time story from Forth 1’s Mark Martin.
Also sleeping out on the night was Ben Macpherson, MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, who is a keen supporter of the charity.
Last year’s Sleep Out raised over £50,000 and the Rock Trust is looking to beat that figure this year by 25% in honour of its 25th anniversary.