Top Scottish song revealed as 500 miles


By Karrie Gillett

 A LEADING homeless charity has revealed the number one song which reminds Scots of home.

The Proclaimers’ favourite I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) grabbed the number one spot in the online poll conducted by Shelter Scotland.

Today outside Holyrood, the charity handed over two guitar cases stuffed with 4,000 postcards to Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon as part of their campaign to end homelessness by 2012.

Graeme Brown, Shelter Scotland director, said now was a crucial time to raise awareness of homelessness as the credit crunch was actually forcing more people out of their homes.

He said: “Last year in Scotland 40,000 people in Scotland were assessed as homeless.

“This is a critical time for housing and we are here to remind MSPs of the 2012 target in Scotland that everyone that is homeless will have a permanent home.”

The charity poll on Scotland’s most heartfelt song was started in July to mark the beginning of their Hometime Scotland campaign.

Members of the public, MSPs and celebrities voted in their thousands with 500 miles grabbing the top spot, followed by Dougie MacLean’s Caledonia.

First Minister Alex Salmond – who voted for MacLean’s 1979 hit – called it “the complete modern anthem of home and homecoming” while Nicola Sturgeon opted for a more modern Scottish song voting for Paolo Nutini’s These Streets.

 Joining the campaign today was 28-year-old Carrieann Davies of Edinburgh who lived in temporary accommodation with her three children before being helped and re-homed by Shelter.

She said: “The temporary accommodation was really miserable, it wasn’t homely and there wasn’t much room for me and my young family.

“Just because you have a roof over your head doesn’t mean it’s a home.

“Shelter were able to help me speak to the right people and get a house for us. Now I have our first Christmas as a family in my own home to look forward to.”

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said homelessness was a problem which conflicted with the building of a modern and successful economy.

She said: “In this, the 40th year of Shelter Scotland, the campaign underlines the need to provide the unintentionally homeless with settled accommodation, which can be a base for themselves and their family.

“This Government’s commitment to the homelessness 2012 target is unwavering, as are our ambitions for housing more generally. “

Shelter’s Hometime Scotland campaign aims to achieve 10,000 affordable rented homes a year being delivered by housing associations and local authorities.