Disabled teens offered grants to #TrySomethingNew

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Young people with physical or mental disabilities can get upto £7,500 from the Independent Living Fund Scotland's Transition Fund

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3rd December 2018 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Disabled young Scots are being urged not to miss out on grants to help them try a new activity such as sport or music.

The Independent Living Funding Scotland has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of its Transition Fund, which offers grants of up to £7,500.

The #TrySomethingNew campaign is aimed at young people aged 16 to 21 to with physical or mental disabilities who could benefit from more social interaction or community participation.

The fund, which was launched last year, has £5 million to give out each year. It can support young people to learn to drive, to purchase sporting equipment or to join a class or club.

Since the launch of the Transition Fund, 700 young people have won awards.

16-year-old high school student Dylan McCreath from East Renfrewshire received funding to attend a mainstream community college music studio for regular guitar, voice and piano lessons. 

He said: “Learning music in a busy college environment has improved my links to the community and broadened my horizons. Thanks to the ILF Transition Fund, I now have one-to-one support in learning music, and it’s helping me to improve my confidence and skills.”

Gemma Lumsdaine, a 21-year-old GB wheelchair rugby squad member from Dunblane secured funding for a new lightweight wheelchair to improve her mobility whilst playing sports as she sets her sights on the 2020 Paralympic Games. In addition, part of her grant will pay for travel and accommodation during away tournaments.

Gemma said: “Playing sports gives me the confidence I need to feel empowered and independent. Receiving a brand-new wheelchair from ILF Scotland has made all the difference to me. It will definitely help me improve my sports performance and hopefully realise my ambition to play wheelchair rugby for the GB Paralympic team in Toyko in 2020.

“I would really encourage everyone who is eligible to apply and try something new – who knows what might happen!”

 ILF Scotland chief executive Peter Scott, added: “It’s been wonderful to watch the fund positively impact so many young people. We want to reach more young people from across Scotland as they transition into adulthood.

“This period in a young person’s life can be challenging, especially for those living with a physical or mental impairment. As support from schools and children’s services comes to an end, many young people can become isolated, vulnerable and anxious.”

All young people aged between 16 and 21, living with a physical or mental impairment in Scotland, are encouraged to apply. This includes people with autism, learning difficulties, physical disabilities and mental health, hearing or visual impairments. Those aged 15 are also eligible to apply, with successful applicants receiving their funds when they turn 16. 

Applications for funding can be made directly to ILF Scotland via its website at www.ilf.scot/transition-fund.