Rock Trust

Early in 1990, it was discovered that homeless young people had been sleeping rough in the graveyard of St. Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh. Brother Basil joined forces with two other west end churches – St Johns and St Andrews and St George’s – to form the West End Churches Together, and, in August 1991 The Rock Trust was formed. In February 1993, as a direct consequence of that determination to do something and an anonymous donation of £100,000, a flat was opened for homeless young people, with three more opening later in the year forming the Bedrock service which still operates today.

We work with young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, this includes young people who are young single parents, do not have sufficient support systems, are leaving the care of the local authority or home, those involved in offending, alcohol or drug misuse. We offer more than 50 bed spaces each night to provide accommodation to vulnerable young people whilst we offer mediation and support to plan for a safe and stable future. We work with our young people to create a personal structure that will motivate them to explore their needs and identify and set individual goals. We provide support and opportunities, through drop ins, one to one meetings, mediation, group work and volunteering to help them achieve their goals, increase resilience and develop the skills to create positive relationships, thus integrating into, and becoming an active economic citizen, in their community.


West Lothian

Rock Trust has a smaller office in Livingston, from which our five-strong team can provide support for young people in West Lothian. In co-operation with West Lothian Council, we can support 16-21 year olds with fifteen fully furnished flats throughout the county, some of which are suitable for single parents with a small child. Referrals come via West Lothian Council Housing team, and, as well as finding accommodation, we help with the transition from care to independent adult life.

The recently established Peer mentoring service (‘The kind of interaction and support that young people say works for them’) is a powerful way of offering support and guidance from someone who has been in a similar situation. This transition to independent adult life is often a difficult and overwhelming experience for a young person who has been in care. The mentoring provides relationship-based support to give them the opportunity to develop the practical and social skills, confidence and resilience they need to overcome the challenges they face. The funding for this project has come from Life Changes Trust, an independent charity set up via National Lottery funds.


Postcard Art

Our sixth postcard art auction has seen 97 artists from across Scotland and beyond donating 162 pieces of postcard sized artworks. Among the cards, bidders will find the work of Avril Paton, best known for her ‘Windows in the West’ depiction of a Glasgow tenement, cartoonist Ken Pyne, and Edinburgh based Lynn Hanley and Stephen Mangan. The pint-sized petite art works will form part of a three-week long exhibition, ‘Between a Rock and an Art Place’, at Edinburgh’s Summerhall arts venue, where visitors can view the works before placing a bid in person or online. The exhibition runs from 23 June until 14 July (2017), after which the highest bidders will be invited to purchase their chosen piece.

The proceeds from the auction will go towards helping vulnerable 16-25 year olds avoid and move on from homelessness, building the resilience and life skills necessary for independent adult life.

Street Art, Equality and Diversity

The Rock Trust wants to commission a piece of art which demonstrates our belief in equal opportunities and challenging discrimination and shows young people entering the building for the first time that it is a safe space for everyone!

The group looked at various protected characteristics and ways in which they face discrimination and disadvantage. They discussed what inequality, disadvantage and discrimination can feel like and what they wanted to express in terms of the inclusivity, diversity and values they held as a group and that we hold as an organisation. They invited Craig from Spectrum Arts to join them and run a series of street art workshops, teaching the young people new street art skills and developing ideas for the final piece. After 4 workshops, they came up with some great ideas!

The project will culminate in a live painting day on the 24th February '17 outside Rock Trust HQ – 55 Albany Street.

Craig and the young people participating will create the final piece. This piece of street art will be created during LGBT History Month and on Purple Friday – a day for people across Scotland to show support for LGBTI people, and stand against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Scotland. We would like to invite anyone who is interested in Equalities, Street Art, wants to have a look or find out more about us, to come down and join us from 2pm on Friday 24th February '17!

The Underground

The Underground was set up in 2001. It is the Rock Trust’s main activity hub, providing support and development opportunities to young people aged between 16 and 25 with a background of homelessness. It currently hosts a variety of weekly drop-ins and focused group work sessions designed to provide a safe and non-judgemental environment for vulnerable young people in need of guidance and information.

In 2006, major renovation works took place to create the multi-purpose space, which added shower and laundry facilities and the kitchen to the facilities, allowing the services to develop and grow. The Rock Trust’s Underground Café provides a broad mix of learning opportunities and practical support for young people in crisis. This includes an informal drop in service, a support network for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, a meeting space for young parents and the chance to access volunteering, training and employment opportunities.