Andy Marks - Community Partnerships Officer
For the last 30 years, Rock Trust has been a lifeline for young people in Scotland who have been at risk of homelessness. Despite the dramatic changes and challenges that the past three decades have brought, Rock Trust’s mission resolutely remains to end youth homelessness and to support young people to build better futures. We believe that every young person in Scotland should have access to expert youth-specific services to assist them to avoid, survive and move on from homelessness.
Rock Trust currently provides a combination of education, advice, housing and employability support services to more than 600 at-risk young people (aged 16-25) across Edinburgh, East Lothian, West Lothian, Fife, Perth and Glasgow. Over the past 30 years, Rock Trust has gained a wealth of experience and understanding of both the causes of youth homelessness and how we can support young people to leave homelessness behind for good. Our dedication to each individual young person has helped us to become Scotland’s leading youth homelessness charity.
Despite helping thousands of young people to leave homelessness behind over the past thirty years, homelessness tragically remains a reality for many young people in Scotland. Young people in particular have been some of the hardest hit by the fallout of the ongoing pandemic and this has dramatically increased their risk of becoming homeless. To put this in perspective, the number of young people receiving on-going support from our services nearly doubled over 2020-2021. This twofold increase was met head-on by Rock Trust’s staff and we moved quickly to reallocate our limited funds to deliver emergency provisions for young people (including hundreds of emergency food parcels, emergency funds for rent and bills, clothes and transport costs), digital resources (including sim cards, laptops, mobile phones and broadband packages) and health and wellbeing support (including art therapy, health and wellbeing groups, and art and wellness packs). This vital support was only possible because of the kindness of our supporters who have generously championed our work throughout the pandemic.
This anniversary year, we are celebrating the extraordinary successes of every young person that has left homelessness behind over the last thirty years. However, the ongoing pandemic has emphasised just how critical Rock Trust’s services remain to the futures of the young people we support. With your help, we will continue to work to end youth homelessness in Scotland and a future where our services are no longer required.