Nine Scottish groups are celebrating a cash injection of more than £4.5 million from our Investing in Communities programme.
Today’s awards will make a huge difference to the lives of people across Scotland but, in particular, to many vulnerable children and young people. Providing valuable work experience for young people with additional support needs is an excellent example of how Lottery money supports those most in need.
Inspired Community Enterprise Trust in Dumfries and Galloway is a social enterprise that provides work experience for young people who find it hard to get jobs. Their project will use a three year grant of £1,115,307 to provide young people – aged between 16 and 26 who have learning disabilities and additional support needs – with valuable work experience and training opportunities within a community cafe setting.
Amy Anne Duffy is 22 years old and will be attending the cafe: “I have learning disabilities and developed epilepsy when I was 16. I went to secondary school in Dumfries and was in a special class for people with learning difficulties. I had a helper with me but I felt that I missed out a bit and sometimes felt a bit bullied.
“I also have Asperger’s which means I don’t make new friends that easily but I don’t look as if I have a learning disability. My abilities are visible but my learning disabilities are invisible. I get embarrassed by the things I can’t do.
“Going to the Oasis Youth Centre in Dumfries has helped me with my confidence and I’m currently doing an IT course to help with using money and telling the time, and my reading is getting better. When Heather and Linda came to talk to people at Oasis, and I heard about the café, I thought it was a great idea and wanted to get involved.
“I’m a bit scared of ovens but would like to learn to use them. I would really like to learn how to use the tills and work with money. I think training and working in the café will help me get a paid job and earn money, and other skills for when I have my own house. I want to do more things for myself, push myself to the limits and see what I can really do.”
Linda Whitelaw, Director of Inspired Community Enterprise Trust, said: “The café will provide accredited training and work experience, creating an opportunity for young people with additional support needs to develop the skills they need to get on the employment ladder.”
Information on today’s projects receiving Investing in Communities funding can be found here.