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Young Scots have a million reasons to celebrate today

Young Scots have a million reasons to celebrate today (THURSDAY 24 JANUARY), as a £1 million cash boost wings its way to 16 projects run for, and by, young people.

The cash, from Young Start, will help young people aged between eight to 24 years old reach their full potential by shaping and taking part in a wide range of activities that boost their confidence, physical and mental health and skills for the future. See a full list of projects benefiting in your area

Young Start access monies from dormant bank accounts and is run by the Big Lottery Fund.

Amongst those benefiting today is Stepping Stones in Edinburgh which will use its award of £82,421 to provide support to young parents, like 24 year old single mum Joanne Gorrie, from North Edinburgh whose life has been transformed since joining the group.

Joanne, a mother of four young children said: “I am so excited to hear that Stepping Stones has received funding from Young Start. It has been a massive support in my life since having my children and has allowed me to gain skills and qualifications while meeting other parents in a similar situation to me. I’ve really enjoy getting the opportunity to be creative and develop myself. If it wasn’t for the service I would most likely be socially isolated and struggle to deal with the ups and downs life throws at you.

“I have accessed support from staff around debt, housing and parenting and also often seek support from my peers within the group. It makes me happy to know that the service is secure for the coming years and that other young parents will be able to get the same opportunities that I have had.”

Also sharing in today’s £1,149,035 Young Start windfall is Glasgow Association for Mental Health who will use their £61,000 award to run a music project for young carers living in Glasgow. The young carers will learn music, song writing and instrumental skills alongside working towards the Steps to Work SQA qualification.

Project leader, Rena Ali said: “This Young Start award is a fantastic contribution to our work with young people affected by mental health problems, the funding will enable us to give young carers the space and time to develop friendships, provide peer support and a supportive environment for them to learn new skills.”

Dexter, 15, who regularly accesses the services at GAMH says: “I think the music programme will give us a chance to try stuff that we haven’t done before and will maybe inspire us to do music outside the programme too. I can’t wait to start!”

Welcoming the funding Ms Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government said: ‘“One of the best things we can give our young people is the opportunity to build their confidence. By encouraging them to work with others and learn new skills, these projects do just that - making them more active while developing their self-esteem. I’m delighted the 16 successful projects will be run for and by young people, providing a platform to help them reach their potential.”

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, added, ‘We are delighted to announce over £1million in Young Start funding for a diverse range of youth-led projects across Scotland. This funding will enable thousands of young Scots, like Joanna and Dexter, to pursue their hopes and aspirations while also building confidence and skills for the future.

“We are keen to support projects which put young people front and centre in the development and running of services. If your group has an idea for funding, then we’d love to hear from you.”

Young Start funding is aimed at organisations working with young people aged between eight and 24 years of age. It is not open to individuals. Group can apply for up to three years and there are no application deadlines.

Groups wanting to know more or who require support with their application should visit our Young Start page or contact 0300 123 7110.


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