Rock Trust to hold Edinburgh sleep out this Friday

Last year's Sleep Out
Last year’s Sleep Out

The Rock Trust youth homelessness charity will hold its annual ‘Sleep Out’ in Edinburgh’s Festival Square this Friday 4 November to raise funds for its essential work.

Over 100 people are expected to take part in the event, which aims to raise awareness of the challenges faced by many 16-25 year olds every night across the UK.

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”.

Ben Macpherson added: “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.”

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

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