Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s Young Start Fund awards money from dormant bank and building society accounts that have seen no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years. The grants support a range of projects that help young people aged eight to 24 reach their full potential.
£48,788 to Dundee Disabled and Carers Information Centre Association’s two-year UPBEET project will offer young carers respite opportunities from their caring role. Around 135 under 18s from the Dundee area will benefit from the project.
Stephen (not his real name) is a carer who is new to the Centre but getting a lot from it.
“I meet with the group every week, you can just be with other young carers and have a laugh, and it’s just comfortable and lots of fun. We’ve done first aid training and got a qualification so that’s really helpful for getting a job. And we went to the Young Carers Festival that had lots of music and blow up bouncy things and shows and it was really fun. Everyone just got together and it was a really nice feeling.”
“In a couple weeks we’re going to London which is going to be amazing. Just a break and a chance to have a bit of fun but be safe and know that you’re with other people who understand what you’re going through.”
“I care for my mum who has a broken back. It’s not easy but it’s just something that you have to do. She’s looked after me for the past 18 years and I think it’s time I gave her something back! At times it’s hard and I get really down about it but most of the time it’s okay. We’re closer because of it, we get to spend a lot of time together and that’s nice. I like that, so most of the time it’s pretty good.”
“The bit I like most about UPBEET is that I have someone to talk to whenever I need anyone because it can be really hard and you can feel completely alone – but you’re not.”
“In the future, I see myself doing a Masters Degree in counselling because that’s what I’m good at. It’s hard to manage everything but, you know, you’re not alone. There’s lots of support out there, people understand that you have to care for people and it’s not such a big thing. Yeah it’s difficult, but there are people there to help.”
Full details on the rest of the successful projects can be found here