Over 200 people will swap their beds for sleeping bags this November in aid of the UK’s longest running sleep-out.
Rock Trust’s 24th annual sleep out on Friday 3 November in Edinburgh’s Festival Square will build on the long running relationships the youth homelessness charity has established with its local corporate partners and supporters.
Staff from Tesco Bank, Artemis Investment Management, Shepherd and Wedderburn, Yorkshire Building Society, DJ Alexander, MediaCom and Almond Housing Association are among the many local businesses returning to support the charity.
The evening’s entertainment will be provided by a mix of Edinburgh’s comedic, musical, and literary talent. Laughs provided by the Monkey Barrel Comedy Club will be followed by a performance from 18 year old Gus Harrower and a bed-time story read by local novelist Sara Sheridan.
Local culinary treats will be served up from La Favorita and the Loving Food Truck in the evening, with the Minister for Local Government and Housing, Kevin Stewart, lending a helping hand at breakfast the following morning serving hot rolls provided by The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square.
Speaking ahead of the Sleep Out, the Minister Kevin Stewart said: “From my recent conversations with young people involved with the Rock Trust, I fully recognise the value of its work in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“I am therefore delighted to be able to play a part in the Rock Trust Sleep Out, helping raise awareness of the issues faced by both young people currently experiencing homelessness, and those at risk of experiencing it.”
The annual Sleep Out is just one of the charity’s fundraising events which supports over 400 local young people every year to avoid or move on from homelessness. Funds raised go directly to the Trust’s frontline services in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Madeline Cross, Rock Trust’s events and communications coordinator, said “We are overwhelmed by the generosity shown, not just from participants, but from local businesses and individuals supporting us in-kind. We can tell this event is going to be particularly special.”
The charity has recorded a 27% year-on-year increase in referrals to their housing support, advice, health, education, employment, and emergency provision services since April this year.
Kate Polson, chief executive of the Rock Trust, said: “Our Sleep Out intends to highlight the struggles young people experience when living on the streets. It does not intend to replicate homelessness; it aims to remind participants that these struggles are real and that everyone can do something to help.”
Organisations and individuals can sign up or donate to the Sleep Out via the charity’s website – www.rocktrust.org