A variety of 16 youth-led projects in Scotland are set to receive a financial boost thanks to a £1.1m National lottery Community Fund grant.
Young Start, an organisation set up by the NLCF to aid young people gain employability skills, is awarding bank account transfers to the groups to help boost the fortunes of the Scottish youth, who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released figures showing that young people were disproportionately impacted by the 114,000 jobs lost in Scotland in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The funding is designed to ensure that those who have lost their jobs or are struggling for employment can earn valuable skills and knowledge to enter the workplace.
One such organisation which will benefit from the funding is MacTaggart Community Cyber Cafe, which will receive over £70,000 from the scheme to ‘deliver a range of employability, skills and wellbeing initiatives targeted at young people at risk of disengagement and/or exclusion over a period of three years.’
Larah McKay, Manager at the Café said: “We recognise that in the current landscape, our young people desperately need motivational support as well as confidence-building and strategies for maintaining mental health. They need reassurance that they are a vital part of their local communities.
“We’ll be working with partner employers, trainers and the wider community across the island to allow our young people the much-needed safe spaces, facilities and experiences to develop their talents and entrepreneurial ideas to their full potential.”
Unveiling the launch of the scheme, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Chair, Kate Still, added: “Now, more than ever, it’s important to nourish and empower our young people to help them with or to find their chosen career or passion. After an incredibly disruptive 18 months I am delighted that this funding will support young people to make their own choices and take control of their lives.”