Over £16 million from dormant bank accounts awarded to charities

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Citadel Youth Centre received £50,000 from Young Start to develop its New Spin intergenerational project

​Big Lottery Fund Scotland's review of its Young Start programme shows it made 393 awards to charities helping young people in its first two years

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7th July 2015 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Over £16 million has been awarded to children and young people in Scotland by a fund which distributes cash from dormant bank and building society accounts.

The Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start programme awards grants to projects that help those aged eight to 24 become more healthy, more enterprising, better connected and more confident.

In just over two years of the programme, from March 2012 until the end of October 2014, Young Start made 393 awards.

The total awarded was £16,647,428, with the average grant size £42,360.

During the period 36 organisations successfully re-applied to the programme to either continue their first project or for a new project with two organisations receiving Young Start funding for the third time.

Eleven organisations re-applied for but were unsuccessful.

Thousands of young people across Scotland have benefitted from Young Start funding

Almost all the projects, 95% reported that they helped build confidence in young people, while 35% said they delivered more than one of the project's aims.

Most organisations, 81%, indicated their project did not focus on any particular group of young people but aimed to be inclusive and open to everyone.

The most frequently engaged age group was the 14-19 bracket.

The Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO) Scotland received £50,000 through Young Start.

It used the cash to run its Young, Confident and Connected (YCC) project which aims to create a generation of future ethnic minority leaders.

Participants, like 22-year-old Sangitta Bassi, take part in a six-week training programme, a two day residential, followed by a short race-equality work placement in a public or third sector organisation.

Bassi said the project really boosted her confidence.

She added: “Taking part in the YCC programme made me aware of being more active in ethnic minority communities, and being a leader as well – especially as a representative of young women.

“I’m now a CEMVO board member and attend monthly meetings.”

A spokesperson for The Big Lottery Fund Scotland said: “Sangitta is not alone. Thousands of other young people across Scotland have benefitted from Young Start funding.

“Our evaluation showed that taking part in projects had multiple and interconnected benefits for young people, and increased confidence was the most commonly reported outcome.

“Through Young Start, we’ve also aimed to fund projects that will involve children and young people in the design, delivery and management of their work, and make the best use of their strengths.

“This means that not only do young people get a big say in the projects they’re involved in, but they also build up skills and experience to help them in their lives and to give back to their community.”

Funding continues into 2015. More details are on the Big Lottery Fund website.