Announcing the return of the Youth Scotland Rural Action Fund

Youth Scotland, The Robertson Trust and The Gannochy Trust announce funding for rural youth work

Two young people engaged in a relay reach for colourful lawn markers on a grassy field.

Following a very successful first year, the Youth Scotland Rural Action Fund is returning for a second year, courtesy again of support from The Robertson Trust and joined this year by 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.

As established in year one, the reduction in availability of ‘open access’ universal services for young people, which, through consultation with its membership, Youth Scotland has identified as particularly affecting rural communities. 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 Robertson Trust and The Gannochy Trust. 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, at 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.

“This unique collaboration between The Robertson Trust, The Gannochy Trust and Youth Scotland aims to support youth clubs and groups in rural and remote areas to deliver effective provision that inspires and supports young people.”

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.”

For Editors:

The Robertson Trust

As the largest independent grant-making trust in Scotland, The Robertson Trust has given over £200m to charities, helping realise the potential and improve the quality of life of people and communities throughout Scotland.

Through its open awards programme, The Robertson Trust awards funding to charities across Scotland in three strands; Care and Wellbeing, Strengthening Communities and Realising Potential.

The Gannochy Trust

The Gannochy Trust was founded in 1937 by Arthur Kinmond Bell, known as A K Bell, for charitable and public purposes as a direct result of his family’s successful distilling business.

It is the aim of the Trustees to invest wisely in order to make donations to charitable projects and meet the purpose of A K Bell’s visionary Trust Deed which was set out in 1937.

Youth Scotland

Youth Scotland is Scotland’s national charity supporting the delivery of community-based youth work. We believe that every young person has potential and high-quality youth work helps young people to realise their potential. Through our member groups and affiliated Area Associations, Youth Scotland reaches into communities all over Scotland, including rural areas, towns and cities.

Youth Scotland delivers a range of projects and services, which support a network of over 1,400 youth groups running in diverse communities the length and breadth of Scotland. These groups work with over 65,000 young people up to 25 years of age. Young people are supported by more than 8,100 passionate and committed youth workers, of whom over 5,200 are volunteers.

Read more about year one of the Rural Action Fund

Read the criteria and make an application