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Author event in partnership with Ullapool Bookshop in Wester Ross launches new anthology All The Way Home to support youth homelessness charity Rock Trust


By Federica Stefani

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Val McDermid launches Rock Trust Homelessness Anthology Book. Picture by: Colin Hattersley Photography.
Val McDermid launches Rock Trust Homelessness Anthology Book. Picture by: Colin Hattersley Photography.

A WESTER Ross independent bookshop will be supporting a new virtual author event as part of a literary charity initiative.

A virtual author event in partnership with Ullapool Bookshop will be part of the Scottish tour to promote, All the Way Home, a new anthology featuring original pieces by iconic Scottish writers such as Val McDermid, Kirstin Innes, and James Robertson which was created with youth homelessness charity Rock Trust.

The event, which will run on May 24, 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.

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 said: "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."

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.

Bringing together a diverse group of voices and stories, Rock Trust hopes that the book will 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’s virtual author event takes place on May 24, from 7pm-8pm. People can book free tickets and find out more about the book and how to purchase it online here: www.rocktrust.org/allthewayhome.

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

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