Scottish Government
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Crooks cash up for grabs

A pot of cash totalling one million pounds is available for youth projects right across the country.

The large haul of cash has been seized from crooks and is now being made available to be reinvested back into the community as part of the Scottish Government's 'Cashback for Communities' initiative.

The fund is being administered by YouthLink Scotland. Any youth project interested in applying for funding can find guidance and application forms at www.youthlinkscotland.org

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced in June that a further round of funding for youth projects is available and he today urged youth projects to apply before the October 31, 2009 deadline.

Kenny MacAskill said:

"Already 278 youth projects the length and breadth of Scotland have benefited from our scheme which uses cash seized from crooks and reinvests it back into great projects in the community.

"I am delighted that we are now able to offer many more projects the opportunity to give our young people the chance to try things that may never normally be available to them though the Cashback for Communities scheme.

"The vast majority of our youngsters are well behaved and a credit to their communities. But there are still too many getting involved in crime and antisocial behaviour.

"By supporting projects across the country we are showing our young people that there is much more to life than offending or getting out of your heads on drink or drugs.

"In the middle of a recession, we are also helping organisations that do such a great job for our kids and our communities.

"CashBack for Communities delivers on our ambitions for young people but it also benefits the wider community. Getting kids off street corners, getting them involved in things like volunteering and offering them the chance to give something back to their communities.

"The deadline for a share of the £1 million funding is fast approaching and I would urge interested organisations to apply. "

It's easy to apply - there is guidance and application forms at the YouthLink Scotland website. Included in the assessing panel are young people, so funds are allocated by young people for young people.

This is part of the Cashback for Communities initiative. CashBack For Communities is a programme of young people's activity funded from assets seized through the Proceeds Of Crime Act 2002. Its main objective is to provide a wide range of positive activities for young people between the ages of 10 to 19 across Scotland.

There is a funding pot available that can help increase youth work events and activities in all areas of Scotland.

Below are case studies of two projects, one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh, that have received CashBack for Communities funding.

Greater Easterhouse Arts Company

Pure Dance NRG is a series of free dance events for young people aged under 18 who live in Glasgow East. Funded by CashBack for Communities, the scheme brings together the biggest dance acts, DJs & MCs to perform live at 12 events. The aim is to bring together young people from communities across Glasgow East to socialise, and have fun - safely.

Hosted by the Greater Easterhouse Arts Company and run in collaboration with local dance DJs, police and youth groups, Pure Dance NRG nights attract between 250 - 350 young people each month.

The CashBack funding has been crucial in not only securing the acts for each event, putting on transport for young people but also allowing youth workers to attend on a Friday evening without having to compromise on their own programme of activity.

Tickets for Pure Dance NRG gigs are only available through youth clubs or street workers in the area. This ensures the safety and enjoyment of everyone at the events - young people will turn up, with their youth worker, feeling confident and reassured that it'll be a great night and there will be no trouble.

6VT Youth Café

The 6VT Youth Cafe has been running for over 15 years and during that time has helped over tens of thousands of young people from all over Edinburgh and surrounding areas. 6VT welcomes any young person from 13 -21 years old, but the majority of attendees are 15 - 18 year old.

The Café runs three evening drop in sessions a week, where young people from a range of different cultures and backgrounds hang out with their friends in a safe and friendly environment, try new activities, learn new things and meet new people.

In addition to drop in sessions comprising activities such as breakdancing lessons, fashion shows and cookery classes, 6VT also offers longer term programmes that are designed specifically for vulnerable young people who may be experiencing problems at home or school, or who have been referred to the Café for offending.

Nine months ago, 6VT Youth Café received 15,000 pounds from CashBack for Communities to enable 12 young people referred to 6VT Youth Café from teaching and support staff to take part in a Horse and Stable Management Project. Run in conjunction with Lasswade Riding School and Oatridge College, the project saw the young people learn to ride, care for the horses and learn about running a stable.

Once a week, the group - which consisted of 10 girls and 2 boys, all aged between 14 and 16 - received a riding lesson, took part in group treks and helped out at the Riding School. Their jobs included mucking out stables, feeding and grooming the horses and learning about the care and welfare of the animals.

At the outset of the project, none of the group had ever been near a horse and for many the thought of sitting on one was terrifying. However just two weeks ago, at the project's final session, each of the 6VT riders galloped and raced along John Muir beach watched by family, friends and carers.

The closing date for applications for the latest round of funding is October 31, 2009, but youth organisations that have good project ideas are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

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