£2.1m CashBack to support youth projects

Posted on 07/05/2014 by

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25,000 young people set to benefit from seized proceeds of crime this year

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The Scottish Government has announced that more than £2 million is to be invested to create life-changing opportunities for vulnerable young people.

The CashBack for Communities funding will be invested by national youth work agency, YouthLink Scotland, over the next three years in projects that will empower and guide Scotland’s young people towards a more positive future.

It’s estimated that around 25,000 young people will be able to access new opportunities in each of the three years as a result of the new funding. This will continue the support of the youth work that has already provided 330,000 opportunities for young people and created a 73,000-strong army of volunteers and workers.

Minister for Children & Young People Aileen Campbell welcomed the news yesterday when she visited the Green Shoots project – on the same day the recently-published National Youth Work Strategy Scotland was debated in the Scottish Parliament.

Green Shoots – a 12-week programme that gives young people at risk of becoming involved in antisocial behaviour or alcohol and drug dependency the opportunity to take part in community-based environmental volunteering – is a great example of criminals’ ill-gotten gains being used for the benefit of communities.

Ms Campbell said: “Youth work is a hugely effective force for good for hundreds of thousands of people and the perfect way to reinvest the CashBack for Communities funding. This money will help offer activities, skills and training opportunities and, most importantly, a place to turn for many young people facing difficulties or at a crossroads in their lives.

“Investment in youth work is not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do. I am lucky to have seen first-hand the difference youth projects make in giving young people confidence to make their voice heard, seize the opportunities in front of them and make the right decisions for themselves and their families.”

Jim Sweeney, CEO, YouthLink Scotland, said: “Over the last five years, CashBack for Communities has created a generation of local superheroes, giving power back to young people and their communities by using the cash seized from criminals as a force for positive change.

“This money has helped young people access life-changing youth work opportunities which has given them more optimism for the future and has proved to many young people that they can achieve their ambitions despite difficult life circumstances.”

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Since 2007, over £74 million of money seized through the Proceeds of Crime Act has been put to excellent use through CashBack for Communities, funding around 1.2 million activities and opportunities for young people.

 

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