The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) formally handed over the reins to its largest single investment in Scotland as the £50 million Life Changes Trust launched in Edinburgh on Wednesday.
The creation of Life Changes Trust is the largest single investment from BIG in Scotland and has been made to bring about a step change in the way young people leaving care and people with dementia and their carers access support and services in Scotland in the future.
There are over 16,000 looked after children in Scotland and young people leaving care face unparalleled challenges. They are more likely to be excluded from school and less likely to go on to higher education. The statistics speak for themselves:-
- Over 20% of Scotland’s 16-19 year olds out of education or employment are recent care leavers
- Only 3% of care leavers go on to gain any higher education qualifications
- Only 1% of care leavers go on to University compared to 37% of all young people
- 50% of looked after children will have a mental health issued compared to 10% of all 15-16 year olds
BIG believes that through the creation of the Life Changes Trust the outlook for all young care leavers in Scotland will change forever and the funding will help young care leavers like Ian achieve a brighter future.
Ian said: “I was four when I was taken into care. I was in the same unit until I was 15 but I only remember things from about 13 onwards.”
Ian then spent over a year in foster care and had his own tenancy but is now back with his family and looking for employment. He’s completed Security Industry Authorities (SIA) training and is currently taking part in a six month outdoors programme with Venture Scotland so that he can become a volunteer with them.
Ian said: “I love being outdoors and enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains.”
The £50 million will be split evenly (£25 million each) between the two beneficiary groups.