The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) has today taken a major step forward in the creation of a fully independent £50 million trust. Over the next ten years, the Life Changes Trust will aim to transform the lives of young people leaving care and the lives of people with dementia and their carers in Scotland. Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee Chair Maureen McGinn tells why this work is crucial.
“Today’s news represents a significant step towards seeing the Life Changes Trust open for business. This new independent charitable trust will be able to offer targeted and specific help to young people leaving care and people newly diagnosed with dementia and their carers. Over the next decade, we believe the Life Changes Trust will bring about long-term transformational change for these people who face the greatest of need.
“Our first step is to appoint Dugald Mackie as the chair of the set up board. Over the next six months he will oversee the legal set up process of Life Changes Trust as well as ensuring that the right people are in place to move the Trust’s work forward as soon as it is formally established.
“Even with its £50 million endowment, the task of the Life Changes Trust will be very challenging. The statistics tell their own story:
- Approximately 84,000 people had dementia in Scotland in 2010
- Alzheimer Scotland estimate that the cost of dementia to the Scottish economy in 2007 was between £1.5 and £1.7 billion.
- There are approximately 16,000 looked after children in Scotland
- 1.5% of Scottish children have been in care
- 50% of Scottish prisoners have been in care
- 80% of Scottish prisoners convicted of violence have been in care
And thus the potential of so many young people remains undelivered, and our society is all the poorer as a result.
“Some of BIG’s current grant funding programmes support valuable work to address single big challenges in people’s lives, such as homelessness, addiction, transition or isolation. However, the Life Changes Trust, offers the opportunity to develop a new, more holistic approach which responds to need by supporting all aspects of an individual’s life.
“The next six months will see development of governance structures, alongside further scoping, planning and research work. So when the Life Changes Trust opens next year, it will be able to get off to the best possible start. The task is a big one but there is such goodwill, dedication and support for this work, we are confident BIG’s significant investment is going to bring positive change to thousands of lives across every Scottish community.”