Media Release: Runaways project is one to watch

A SERVICE which helps young runaways in Tayside and Fife has been shortlisted for the Care Accolades 2013, among the most prestigious awards competitions in the social services sector.

Shelter Scotland and Relationship Scotland’s Safe and Sound service, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and based in Dundee, has been shortlisted in the ‘One to Watch’ category.

Says a spokesperson for housing charity, Shelter Scotland: “It is estimated that there are almost 12,000 incidents of young people running away from home each year in Scotland.

“According to Shelter Scotland, 84 per cent of today’s young homeless people in Scotland under 25 years of age ran away at least once before they were 16 years-old, compared with an 11 per cent average for young people generally.

“Twenty per cent of the runaways who are now homeless first ran away before they were 11 years-old.

“National figures show family relationship breakdown, typically with parents or step-parents, is the most common reason for homelessness amongst 16-24 year-olds.”

Richard McGilvray, manager of the Safe and Sound project, said:

“We’ve been up and running for just over a year so to be recognised in this way so early on is testament to the hard work of our staff, and the young people and families we work with.

“Today’s runaways are tomorrow’s young homeless people so our focus is to reduce conflict and prevent young people from running away in the first place. Not only does it reduce the number of runaways but prevents future homelessness and ensures a brighter future for Scotland’s vulnerable youngsters.”

The project, in partnership with Relationships Scotland, works to reduce the risk of homelessness for young people in Dundee and across the greater Tayside and Fife areas, facilitate family mediation and the safe return home for those who have run away, or where this is not possible, help them to find and keep suitable housing of their own.

Safe and Sound is funded by £694,985 from the Big Lottery Fund and is run by Shelter Scotland in partnership with counselling, mediation and family support charity Relationships Scotland with referrals from other local sources.

Now in its tenth year, the Care Accolades, organised by the Scottish Social Services Council showcases the work of social services across Scotland.

Garry Coutts, chair of the Care Accolades 2013 judging panel said:

“Congratulations to all the finalists. We received a record 170 entries this year. Choosing a shortlist is always difficult when the number and standard of entries is high.

“This year’s Care Accolades judging panel was delighted to hear from excellent social service organisations who are making a difference to the lives of people who use services, carers, workers and the wider public.”

The finalists and guests, including the Minister for Children and Young People, will find out who has won at the afternoon tea and award ceremony at Perth Concert Hall on 31 May 2013.


Notes to Editors:

1.    Shelter Scotland helps over half a million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and we campaign to prevent it in the first place. We’re here so no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own. For advice and support, visit or call 0808 800 4444.
2.    Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.
3.    Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – Twitter –

Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.

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Contact: Shelter Scotland