Criminal cash funds opportunities for over 3,600 young people in Scotland

Over 3,600 young people are set to benefit from the first round of the CashBack for Communities Small Grants Scheme, a £500,000 programme supporting volunteer-led community groups across the country.

CashBack for Communities is a Scottish Government initiative that uses funds recovered from criminal activity to support positive activities for young people. The new pilot Small Grants Scheme is increasing the range of opportunities available to young people in Scotland, by awarding small grants to volunteer led community-based youth groups and units.

The scheme is being managed by a partnership of six national youth organisations; Youth Scotland, The Scottish Council - The Scout Association, Girlguiding Scotland, Boys Brigade, The Girls' Brigade in Scotland and Clubs for Young People (Scotland).

Member groups of the organisations were invited to apply for grants of up to £2,000 towards running programmes of quality and inclusive activities for young people. Nearly 200 projects submitted an application via a straightforward and accessible application process.

85 successful groups have each secured a share of £82,121 following the first funding deadline. It is estimated that the projects will provide activities for around 3,650 young people in urban and rural localities across Scotland.

Those projects that have been awarded funding include:

  • The Spectrum Club Scotlandin Perth, a specialist youth club for young people with autism, who will be using the funding to purchase musical equipment for music sessions tailored to the needs of their members.
  • Scout Units across the country, including those in Angus, Fife, Aberdeenshire and the Isle of Arran, who will be increasing their facilities for young people including purchasing new camping and catering equipment for improved residential activities.
  • The 55th Glasgow Girls Brigade's successful application will allow them to run a six-week programme of activities including samba drumming lessons and urban art classes.
  • Fife Arabic Society will be providing a range of new programmes for young people in Fife including art classes and swimming lessons for young women.
  • Boys Brigade groups in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirk, Paisley, Newport-on-Tay, Erskine and East Dunbartonshire have secured funding to increase the provision of their informal education programmes.
  • Girl Guide Units across Scotland will be using grants to allow more girls and young women to attend centenary celebrations and take advantage of new equipment.

Commenting on the first round of funding, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "It is great to see so many groups across Scotland getting their applications in to widen the activities they are able to offer. Thanks to the activities of Youth Scotland and the other partners, thousands of young people and their communities will reap the benefits.

"This is a perfect example of bad money being used for good purposes, by turning cash seized from crooks into funds supporting young people across Scotland.

"The projects being supported demonstrate to young people that there is more to life than petty crime and getting out of your head on drink and drugs. Youth development is vitally important to the future of Scotland and this investment will allow these groups to continue their outstanding work, develop their activities in the future and benefit the wider community."

Youth Scotland Chief Executive Carol Downie added: "The popularity of the first round of this scheme, as well as the quality of the applications, has demonstrated there is a real need to support volunteer led youth provision in our communities.

"The partners are looking forward to seeing the development of more and more fantastic projects for young people as the scheme continues."

The deadlines for the next round of CashBack for Small Grants Scheme are the 1st June, 1st September, and the 1st December 2011.

The partner organisations are continuing to run a programme of roadshows across the country, at which interested parties can learn more about the scheme and get practical help and advice about how to apply.

Interested parties can find details of forthcoming roadshows and more information about the scheme by clicking here.