Announcing the Youth Scotland Rural Action Fund

Funding to support Community based Youth Work across Scotland

Date 22 March 2018

Universal youth work – prevention in action

Youth Scotland has received a significant funding boost to help grow and develop universal community based youth work across Scotland.

The £120,000 award from The Robertson Trust, Scotland’s largest independent grant-making trust, includes a £90,000 revenue award, will provide the resources to help Youth Scotland extend their support for youth work in rural communities. This is in response to 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.

To complement Youth Scotland’s proactive approach to supporting the formation and development of rural youth groups, The Robertson Trust is also supporting the organisation to facilitate the Youth Scotland Rural Action Fund. In this, Scotland’s Year of Young People, this micro grant scheme will see one-off awards of between £100-£500 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.

Lesley Macdonald, Head of Giving at The Robertson Trust, said:

“Through our Realising Potential funding strand, The Robertson Trust is committed to supporting work which helps young people build skills, confidence and self-esteem, particularly those who face barriers.

“We are aware of the growth in the number of young people accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service services and of the potential pressures those living in rural communities can face through increased isolation.

“As such, rural youth work is vitally important and voluntary organisations at a local level need practical support to increase capacity, recruit more volunteers and improve the quality of services.

“Youth Scotland is well placed to offer this and we look forward to seeing how this work progresses in the coming months.”

Ian McLaughlan, Chief Executive Officer of Youth Scotland, said:

“We’re delighted that these opportunities will be open to all young people, regardless of their background or any social barriers. We believe this universal approach and openness allows young people to enjoy the benefits of youth work.”

“By making a positive longer-term impact on their lives, building their resilience and enabling them to better deal with modern issues and challenges in their lives as they grow into adulthood, we foster ‘prevention’ in action across our communities in Scotland.”

“These groups provide a range of experiences and opportunities for young people to build their confidence, develop new skills, make friends, have fun and contribute to their communities. In particular, Youth Scotland will also be looking at specific support for youth groups in rural communities over the coming months – see our website news for more information "

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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.

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.

We deliver a range of projects and services which support a network of over 1,100 youth groups running in diverse communities the length and breadth of Scotland. These groups work with over 64,000 young people up to 25 years of age. Young people are supported by more than 7,500 passionate and committed youth workers, of whom nearly 5,000 are volunteers. To find out more about our work, please visit

For everyone involved in community based youth work. Find out more about what we do and apply for membership.