The Rock Trust was established in 1991 by a group of churches in Edinburgh who wished to do something practical for young homeless people. The churches wanted to alleviate the homeless problem in Scotland while at the same time raising awareness of the issue. Since then, The Rock Trust has been working with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, this includes young people who are in transitions, do not have sufficient support systems, are leaving care or home, those involved in offending, alcohol or drug misuse.
The Rock Trusts role is to advise, educate and support young people to enable them to build the personal skills and resources required to make a positive and healthy transition to adulthood whilst avoiding or moving on from homelessness. In order to achieve this, The Rock Trust provides crisis support including food, warmth, washing and laundry facilities, supported accommodation including shared flats and move on support to enable young people to learn skills needed for future employment and independent living.
The Mickel Fund has been a substantial supporter of The Rock Trust since its inception in 1991. The Founder of The Mickel Fund, Douglas Mickel, was passionate about helping people who were less fortunate than him. Douglas owned a flat in Edinburgh, which he allowed The Rock Trust to use to support young homeless people. When this property become unsuitable for their needs, he sold the property and bought two more properties in Edinburgh that he continued to let The Rock trust use for free.
It is a credit to Douglas that his vision and dedication has been passed to his decedents and culminated in the setting up of The Mickel Fund through a Trust Deed. His actions - allowing The Rock Trust to use these two premises in the early nineties - have led to a long term, ongoing, commitment from The Mickel Fund. The Mickel Fund has fulfilled Douglas’s dreams and has helped establish and develop The Rock Trust into the successful and well respected organisation that it is today.
The Rock Trust Chief Executive Kate Polson said:
"By supporting us since 1991 and providing us with residential properties, The Mickel Fund have assisted The Rock Trust to support thousands of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in our society. Offering a stable place to stay, as well as support to build social skills, resilience and positive relationships, are very important early steps in helping people out of homelessness and with the rebuilding of their lives".
The Rock Trust’s ‘Hub’ flat, funded by The Mickel Trust, is a very well used resource which The Rock Trust’s Housing Support Team use to run group work programmes. The Hub serves as a base for staff to work and meet with young people from Leith and the surrounding areas, as a meeting space and can also be used by our volunteer supportive flatmates as a respite option should they need time away from their shared flat.
The Rock Trust believe that homelessness is not just rooflessness, and that young people must be equipped with life skills in order to make a positive and healthy transition to adulthood, while avoiding or moving on from homelessness. The Hub is the central point for our group work programme, which is developed with the young people, and helps them to develop life skills, both practical and social. The young people provide feedback about the Hub and any suggestions for improvements, especially in order to make it feel more inviting. The Hub is a fully functioning flat and allows The Rock Trust to support young people who are living in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation develop the skills required to manage their own tenancy, such a cooking and budgeting.