Funding boost for rural youth projects

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The Youth Scotland Rural Action Fund aims to support young people in isolated areas of Scotland

8th August 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Youth projects in rural areas are being invited to apply for funding.

Following a successful first year, the Youth Scotland Rural Action Fund is returning, courtesy of support from the Robertson Trust and new partners the Gannochy Trust.

The fund will continue to develop and grow community-based youth work provision in rural areas of Scotland—focused on overcoming the barriers to youth work opportunities in rural areas—and building on the success of year one. In addition to this, year two will see an increase in the total grant award available to youth groups.

Youth Scotland has identified young people in rural communities struggle to access many services. Over the course of a single year, the Youth Scotland Rural Action Fund reached 3,176 young people; awarded £28,872 funding to 55 projects; and supported 478 people volunteering over 5,700 hours of time.

The £60,000 fund has been made possible with £30,000 from each of the trusts. It will provide the resources to further help Youth Scotland build on and extend their support for youth work in rural communities.

In year two, groups will again have access to a micro grant scheme and will see one-off awards of between £100-£750 offered for small, volunteer-led youth projects and clubs to enhance existing provision for young people or increase capacity to deliver a specific project or programme.

Stewart Macgregor, funding manager at the Robertson Trust, said: “By supporting small, volunteer-led youth groups in rural communities, the Rural Action Fund has improved access to local youth work and made a tangible difference to the lives of young people, many of whom are at risk of increased isolation.

“As Scotland’s largest independent grant-making Trust, we are committed to finding innovative ways of using our resources and collaborating with others to broaden our reach.

“The Rural Action Fund reflects this commitment and we are excited to see the impact it makes in its second year.”

Carol Downie, chief executive of the Gannochy Trust, said: “Young people and youth work have a major role to play in society and in the development of vibrant communities. Youth work settings provide a safe place for young people to go: reducing isolation; creating a sense of belonging and providing new experiences and opportunities. However, youth work in Scotland has been going through a challenging time with the sector facing a significant reduction in resources.”

Ian McLaughlan, chief executive of Youth Scotland, said: “With around a third of our membership groups in rural or remote areas, the Rural Action Fund is a great way for us to support rural groups who may be disproportionally affected by reductions in funding for universal youth work.

“We’re extremely encouraged by the tremendous impact that year one has already made in supporting groups in sustaining and increasing the provision of youth work opportunities in rural communities. In addition to this, many groups also told that the funding sustained their existing provision, which would have ceased without the support.

“These groups provide an invaluable range of experiences and opportunities for young people to develop new skills, have fun and contribute to their communities. I would encourage any rural group to look at an application for year two."