Big Lottery Fund
Printable version

A bright new future for thousands of young Scots thanks to Young Start funding

On Wednesday 15th December, projects paving the way for young people in Scotland to gain new skills shared £600,000 of Young Start funding. The additional funding comes as a lifeline to many young Scots, whose services and opportunities for learning and gaining experience have been negatively affected by the pandemic.

Association for Black Engineers (UK) Limited has been awarded £49,300 for its NextGen Coding Club, based in Aberdeen. The club focuses on levelling out the inequalities for opportunities for young people from a mixed ethnic background, specifically around opportunities within engineering career paths. Cyril Ishabiyi from the project, said:  

“The underrepresentation of minorities in engineering and technology is well documented. Studies from EngineeringUK show that despite the fact that 31.8% of UK domiciled undergraduate qualifiers are from BME backgrounds, only 7.8% of professionals are in the engineering sector.    

“The NextGen Coding Club is a youth-led initiative that exists to address this gap by creating an environment in which young people develop their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and where they develop skills of coding, teamwork, creativity and leadership, skills that will equip them to be innovators of the future.    

“Now we will be able to reach out to more people from disadvantaged communities and provide them with the necessary equipment to consolidate their learning, and ensure they experience the fun and practicality of not only engineering, but technology as a whole. Furthermore, leadership courses will be given to the participants, to ensure their soft skills are also second to none.”    

Young people on the remote island of Tiree will benefit from £46,814 of funding for the Tiree Community Development Trust. With a population of only 800 people, this funding will benefit almost all the young people on the island in some way.    

The group will use the funding to support a broad range of wellbeing and volunteering opportunities, helping young people to flourish.    

Willie MacKinnon, Youth Activities Coordinator said: “Living in such a remote setting can be incredibly difficult for some young people. The funding means we can keep delivering the activities which really have become paramount to the children and young adults in our community to have a well-rounded experience of growing up. Some of the young people who benefit from our services go on to become volunteers, passing on what they’ve learned to the younger kids, and in turn, gaining leadership experience. We’re so proud to see so many of the service users go on to study youth work or teaching on the mainland.    

“The pandemic has been hard for everyone, but being part of a very small island community, it’s been so easy to see how people can become isolated. The various activities we run – from football and hockey to a chess club and a sci-fi group – really have been a lifeline to many of the young people taking part.”    

Near Inverness, The Cantraybridge Café and Enterprise Shop receives £60,000 which will be used to re-open their onsite café, located within the grounds of the specialist further education college. 

Hazel Clark, CEO of Cantraybridge,  said: “Our café was closed a few years ago and has been greatly missed by all at Cantraybridge and the locals who visited regularly. 

“The funding will enable us to re-open our café and provide that wonderful link between the young people who attend and the local community. We have many groups in our community who enjoy visiting Cantraybridge, the cycling club, Church groups and local schools to name a few.   

“Previously, we found that our young people gain so much more than just skills in cooking, baking and customer care. They grow in confidence and the difference in their self-esteem is quite remarkable. We have found that our young people take such a pride in their achievements and the joy they experience when a customer compliments them is priceless.”       

Announcing the awards, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said: “Young people across the country have faced an enormously difficult period over the last 20 months. We’re thrilled to have been able to commit another £600,000 to projects across the country which are dedicated to improving the future of young Scots.      

“We are always keen to support projects which put Scotland’s young people at the heart of the development and running of services. If your group has an idea how you would make this happen, then we’d love to hear from you.”       

Groups wanting to know more about Young Start, and how it can support them should visit  or contact  0141 846 0447.   

Notes to Editors

  • Under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008, the Reclaim Fund releases funds from dormant bank accounts to the National Lottery Community Fund for distribution to good causes across the UK.  
  • Dormant accounts are defined in the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008 as those which have seen no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years.   
  • The Reclaim Fund Ltd. (RFL), which was established in March 2011 to receive and invest dormant account balances across the UK, transferred the first tranche of monies from dormant bank and building society accounts to the National Lottery Community Fund on 2 August 2011. Scotland receives 8.4% of the total funds distributed.   
  • We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. National Lottery players raise £36 million each week for good causes throughout the UK**. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £43 billion has been raised for good causes which has supported over 635,000 projects***, benefiting millions of people - that’s 255 projects per postcode area. 
  • We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.  

Young Start

Helping young people aged eight to 24 to become more confident and play an active part in realising their potential.

Read more about this programme

Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
Big Lottery Fund

Professional Training - Aspiring Leaders Programme