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£1.9 million to boost skills and confidence of young Scots

Projects giving young Scots the skills and confidence to embrace the future are today sharing in £1.9 million from the  Young Start programme. 

Run by the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, Young Start awards money from dormant bank and building society accounts that have seen no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years. The money supports a range of projects that help young people aged eight to 24 reach their full potential.

Many of today’s 48 Young Start projects will provide young people with work placements, training and volunteering opportunities to improve their skills and confidence.

Announcing the awards, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen, said: “I am delighted to see the different ways that today’s funding will help young people.  Every young person has something unique to offer that these latest projects can tap into and develop. One of the aims of the Young Start fund is to help prepare young people for the world of work and, with many being out of work or not in education for some time, today’s funding will make a big difference where it’s needed most.”

Young people in Leith will learn new skills to prepare them for the word of work, thanks to a Young Start award of £21,084. YMCA Edinburgh and its Sliding Doors programme will match the young people with local business mentors who will provide training and coaching over six months, which will culminate in paid work placements.

Kerry Reilly, YMCA Edinburgh Manager, said: “Sliding Doors is a programme run by YMCA Edinburgh, providing a  coaching and learning model for  young people who are unemployed alongside local businesses.  The programme will encourage young people to identify their own inner strengths and skills, raise aspirations and develop an increased sense of personal purpose.  It will also enable young people to build positive working relationships with business people who would normally be out-with their comfort zone, and gain employment placements.”

In the north west of Glasgow DRC Generations trains and supports young people aged 11 to 18 years old to become peer mentors and educators. Through its substance misuse and sleep mentoring programmes the organisation will train these young people to share their newfound knowledge and skills with other young people, as well as members of the wider community.

Welcoming the £50,000 award Isabel Dunsmuir, DRC Generations, Innovation Development Director, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the work our young people do is recognised and wish to thank Young Start for supporting our project.  This will enable the young people to continue to develop and grow confidently within their roles.”

Cameron Ironside S4 Peer mentor, said: “This is amazing news, we will be able to spread the word further out in the community.”

Kieran Duncan S1 Peer Educator, added:  “I am looking forward to continuing my  role as a Peer Educator and hope that I will be able to be like Cameron and stay with project for another three or four years.”

A project providing coaching qualifications for budding young swimmers in Aberdeen receives an award of £25,668Aberdeen Sports Village Limited will make use of its new Olympic sized swimming pool to offer 40 pupils from local secondary schools accredited swimming qualifications. On completion of training, these pupils will volunteer, under the supervision and guidance of senior coaches, to teach Primary 6 and 7 pupils who are unable to swim.

David Beattie, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Sports Village, said “We are delighted to have received this funding which will allow young people from some of the city’s most deprived areas to develop their confidence, communication and leadership skills in a world class sporting environment. We hope that the youngsters who will learn to swim as part of the programme will continue to participate in the sport and lead and active and healthy lifestyle in the years ahead.”

Many of today’s funded projects will also support young people through difficult times. The Haven Caring Counselling Communication Centre receives £37,142 to provide additional support to young people aged 8 to 16 years across South and North Lanarkshire, who have been affected by the diagnosis, progressive condition or death of a loved on.

Connie Postlethwaite, Fundraiser, The Haven Caring Counselling Communication Centre, said: “The Haven is delighted to receive this funding to build on a successful initiative at the centre which has been delivering support to young people across Lanarkshire faced with the complex emotions experienced through family illness and bereavement. The project will enable the centre to capitalise on existing resources within the community to part fund the delivery of  weekly activity based peer support groups. The after school groups are  designed to make a positive impact on the emotional health and wellbeing  of young people who may otherwise be isolated and miss out on opportunities to realise their full potential as a result of coping with family illness and loss.” 

A full list of projects to be awarded is available here

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 0141 242 1458

Out of hours media contact: 07823 552889

Website:www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Twitter:@BIGScotland #biglf
Facebook:www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFundScotland

Notes to editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 it has awarded close to £6bn.
  • In the year ending 31 March 2013, 28% of total National Lottery revenue was returned to the Good Causes. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £31 billion has been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded.
  • The Scotland Committee makes Big Lottery Fund decisions on Scottish projects.  As well as taking devolved decisions on Lottery spending, the Committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn, has and will continue to play a strategic role in the future direction of BIG in Scotland.
  • The Big Lottery Fund is investing in Scotland’s communities through its Investing in Communities portfolio, as well as a number of small grants schemes.
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