Media Release: Photo call – Scottish charity, Rock Trust, holds annual Sleep Out this Friday


Photo call – Date: Friday, 4 November 2016 – Time: 7pm onwards

Where: Festival Square, Edinburgh

What: The Rock Trust, a charity that works with 16-25 year-olds who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, is holding its annual Sleep Out event. It is one of 12 national Sleep Out events taking place across the UK.

Over 100 people from across central Scotland – including teams from Heriot Watt, DJ Alexander, Parabola, Wood Mackenzie, Islamic Society of Edinburgh University, Alliance Trust and Dune London – will be taking part in the event which aims to raise funds for, and awareness of, youth homelessness in Scotland.

Participants will be wrapped up in sleeping bags, beanie hats, scarves and gloves as they take part in this year’s Sleep Out.

They will be given the opportunity to build their own shelter for the night, to be in with a chance of winning a prize.

This year, the Sleep Out will have exclusive use of the Underbelly’s Spiegeltent on Festival Square.

Who: The Rock Trust’s chief executive, Kate Polson, and Ben Macpherson, MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, will be joining in on the event, swapping their beds for sleeping bags. They will be available for pictures and interviews alongside Nasher from Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Sleep Out and support Scotland’s homeless youth

OVER 100 people from across central Scotland will come together this Friday, 4 November, and spend a night under the stars in aid of youth homelessness at the Rock Trust’s annual Sleep Out.

The Sleep Out aims to raise awareness of the challenges faced by many 16-25 year olds every night across the UK.

Participants will swap their comfy beds for sleeping bags and sleep outdoors in Edinburgh’s Festival Square to help raise much needed funds for the Rock Trust, a charity which provides vital support for homeless young people.

Last year’s Sleep Out raised over £50,000 and this year’s Sleep Out, which also marks the charity’s 25th year supporting young homeless people in Scotland, aims to raise 25 per cent more.

A number of special events are planned, including a performance by guitar legend, Nasher, from Frankie goes to Hollywood.

Ben Macpherson, MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, is a keen supporter of the charity and will be attending the sleep out along with groups of friends and individuals keen to help make a difference.

Teams from Heriot Watt University, Dune London, Parabola, Islamic Society of Edinburgh University, DJ Alexander, Wood Mackenzie and the Alliance Trust will also be taking part.

Kate Polson, chief executive of the Rock Trust, said: “We helped around 400 young people last year and over 15,000 since our first year in 1991. It is great to be able to say we have helped so many but it is also a sad thought that this many young people are still affected by homelessness.

“It is our goal to eradicate youth homelessness all together! And events like our annual Sleep Out are a great way to get more people on board to help us reach this goal.

“The Sleep Out is not intended to replicate homelessness, it is meant to highlight the struggles some young people face, in the hope that more can be done to improve the lives of many young people.

“It is really great to have so many people interested in coming along to support the Sleep Out this year and the work charities like the Rock Trust do throughout the country.

“We have lots of fun activities planned for this year, including a ‘build your own shelter’ competition and Forth 1’s Mark Martin will bring the night to a close with a bed time story. We will also have use of the Underbelly’s Spiegeltent.

“This will give our fundraisers a really special evening, as they will be able to experience one of Edinburgh’s most iconic festival venues in a very unique way. It promises to be a really great night”.

Speaking about the Sleep Out, Ben Macpherson said: “A few years ago I took part in the Rock Trust’s End Youth Homelessness Sleep Out – where many people gave up their beds for the night and slept outside, to raise money and awareness of youth homelessness.

“Since then, the Sleep Out has grown, raising more money and awareness of this important issue, as well as helping the Rock Trust to do more. I am delighted to help celebrate The Rock Trust’s 25th year anniversary and their incredible efforts to tackle youth homelessness over those years.

“The Rock Trust makes a real difference to the lives of young people in the Lothians, and I am looking forward to this year’s Sleep Out. I hope many others will join me on Friday 4th November 2016 at Festival Square.”

To mark its 25th year, the Rock Trust, held a homelessness conference in June this year which resulted in the formation of the Scottish End Youth Homeless Coalition.

The coalition includes: 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. The group will work together to try to end youth homelessness in the next ten years.

The Sleep Out will take place on Friday, 4 November from 7pm to 7am on Saturday. As well as entertainment, participants at the Sleep Out will receive food and refreshments, including complimentary pizza from Edinburgh’s famous La Favourita Delivered.

Follow #SleepOut and @RockTrust_tweet on twitter for pictures, videos and updates throughout the night.

For more information on how to take part please contact Katriona Harding at or call 0131 557 4059.

Alternatively, visit The Rock Trust website


If you’d like to send a photographer or reporter, contact Jennifer Mullen at Pagoda Porter Novelli. (0131 556 0770/

Alternatively contact Katriona Harding of The Rock Trust on 07977 987308

If you’d like to be sent a selection of free images following the event on Monday morning, please email

Notes to editors

• Established in 1991, the Rock Trust works with 16-25 year-olds, aiming to prevent youth homelessness and support young people to have better futures.

• The Rock Trust advises, educates and supports young people to enable them to build the personal skills and resources required to make a positive and healthy transition to adulthood while avoiding or moving on from homelessness. It offers more than 50 bed spaces each night to young people in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian.

• Scottish End Youth Homeless Coalition, formed on the back of the Rock Trust’s youth homeless conference in June 2016, is a collective impact model which aims to end youth homelessness in Scotland in the next ten years. Members include Homeless Action Scotland and Heriot-Watt University’s Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research, LGBT Youth Scotland and the Scottish Government.

• There are 12 Sleep Out events and ten charities taking part in Sleep Out 2016, the fifth national Sleep Out event:

o Centrepoint: Mystery location in London, 24 November
o Centrepoint: The Stadium of Light, Sunderland, SR5 1SU, 10 November
o Centrepoint: The Provident Stadium, Bradford, BD6 1BS, 3 November
o Centrepoint: Victoria Warehouse, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester, M17 1AB, 16 November
o The Eden Project (funds donated to Amber and St Petrocs): Cornwall, PL24 2SG, 10 November
o The Rock Trust: Festival Square, Edinburgh, EH3 9SR, 4 November
o Roundabout: CADS Works, 7 Smithfield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 7AR, 3 November
o The Benjamin Foundation: Marsh Ltd, Victoria House, Norwich, NR1 3QQ, 11 November
o 1624 Independant People: Rivergate, Temple Quay, Bristol, 25 November
o Llamau: Cardiff City Stadium, Leckwith Road, Cardiff, CF11 8AZ, 10 November
o St James society: St Mary’s Church Ground, Southampton, SO14, 11 November
o The Aberdeen Foyer: Location and date TBC

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