Scottish writers and Rock Trust join forces with new anthology of poetry and prose

Scottish writers and Rock Trust join forces with new anthology of poetry and prose

Val McDermid

Scotland’s youth homelessness charity Rock Trust is teaming up with a team of Scottish writers with the launch of a new book.

All the Way Home’ is a new anthology featuring original pieces by iconic Scottish writers such as Val McDermid, Scabby Queen author Kirstin Innes, and James Robertson, alongside personal essays and work by emerging writers, including young people supported by Rock Trust.

After powerful live launch events in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Rock Trust are taking the anthology across Scotland, with a virtual author event supported by Ullapool Bookshop. The event is free and will see contributing writers James Robertson, Helen Sedgewick and Stephen Keeler reading excerpts from their pieces, and joining Rock Trust for a Q&A and conversation exploring ideas of home and homelessness.

Marking 30 years of their work supporting young people affected by homelessness in Scotland, Rock Trust partnered with independent publishers Taproot Press to bring the book to life and highlight the country’s ongoing youth homelessness crisis.

Across each contribution, the idea of ‘home’ is approached from a variety of perspectives, exploring family and belonging, and the visible and invisible realities of homelessness.

By bringing together such a diverse group of voices and stories, Rock Trust hopes to shine a spotlight on the complexities of youth homelessness and how the lives of Scotland’s young people are being affected every day.

Almost 7,000 young people in Scotland were declared homeless last year. This doesn’t include those who were not ‘officially homeless’ and captured in statistics. Rock Trust have expanded their support over the past few years to meet the growing need, establishing new services in Perth and Kinross in 2020, and Fife in 2021.

James Robertson, who currently resides in Angus and contributed a piece in Scots to the book, said:  “It’s shameful that more than 7,000 of Scotland’s young citizens have no place they can really call ‘home’. The anthology All the Way Home can’t solve this crisis but it can raise awareness of it, and of the work done by Rock Trust to help young people navigate their way through and away from homelessness. The online event on 24th May is a chance to show support for Rock Trust and assert that as a society we have to do much better on this most fundamental of issues.”

Kate Polson, CEO of Rock Trust, added: “Despite the high numbers of young people affected, youth homelessness is still hugely misunderstood and often a hidden crisis. Many young people are never declared homeless, they may not even realise themselves that they are homeless, moving between hostels or the sofas of friends, even strangers, just to keep a roof over their head. But they are not safe, and they need our help now.

“We are proud of what we have achieved as an organisation over the past 30 years, and this anthology is a powerful way for us to celebrate our journey, but it has also been an opportunity to reflect, question, and acknowledge how far we still have to go if we are to truly see an end to youth homelessness in Scotland.”

Rock Trust’s virtual author event takes place May 24th 7pm-8pm, you can book free tickets and find out more about the book here, along with how to purchase it online.

The book is also currently stocked in independent bookshops across Scotland including Aberfeldy Watermill Bookshop, or bookshops can order it for you.

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