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New investment plans to transform lives in Scotland

February 5, 2015

Chief Executive of the Life Changes Trust, Maddy Halliday updates us on the Trust’s aim for 2014-2023.

 

MaddyThe Life Changes Trust charity was established with a Big Lottery Fund endowment of £50 million.

The purpose of the Trust is to invest this endowment and work alongside others to transform the lives of people affected by dementia – including unpaid carers – and care experienced young people.

We are extremely pleased to have now published our Business Strategy for 2014- 2023, which sets out the Trust’s investment approach to achieve this aim over the coming years.

The two groups of people the Trust will work with and support may seem very different at first glance, but they have much in common.

Many people affected by dementia and young people with experience of being in care face similar – and significant – challenges, including poor physical, mental and social well-being.  They often experience stigma, loss and isolation, and many don’t have the right support and care – support they acutely need and are, of course, entitled to.

The Trust’s vision is for a Scotland where all care experienced young people and people affected by dementia are valued as full and equal citizens, able to live good quality lives and receive the right support when they need it.

The funding, investment and support the Life Changes Trust will provide has never been more critical.  In Scotland, it is estimated that around 88,000 people have dementia and, based on current prevalence rates, that number is projected to double by 2038. Those who care for people with dementia are often unpaid and disproportionately suffer from extreme stress, mental health issues and experience isolation.  And shockingly, dementia costs the country more than cancer, heart disease and stroke put together.

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Our investment priorities for dementia include:

  • empowering people with dementia and their carers to have a stronger voice on what matters to them
  • improving social support and inclusion through the development of ‘dementia friendly communities’
  • improving access to befriending and peer support to combat isolation and help people affected by dementia to get the support they need when they need it

 

In Scotland, there are more than 16,000 children and young people who are “looked after”, as their parents are either not able to do so or need help.  Often they leave care abruptly at a young age, with no life skills and no network of support.  As a result, care experienced young people have higher rates of suicide and reduced life expectancy compared to that of their peers and many care experienced young people are homeless.  They also have significantly more contact with the criminal justice system.

 

Our investment priorities for care experienced young people include:

  • empowering young people to have a say in their own futures
  • peer support and mentoring to improve young people’s education and employment
  • supporting the development of local ‘Champion Boards’ which bring young people and care providers together to improve services and quality of life for all care experienced young people

 

Our Business Strategy sets out the Trust’s top level plans for achieving our mission and has been developed in liaison with care experienced young people and people affected by dementia, as well as a wide range of organisations already working with and supporting them.  We are deeply grateful for the insight and experience that has been shared with us.  It is this intelligence that will inform and support the Trust’s work now and into the future.

The full Business Strategy and Executive Summary are published on the Trust’s website. www.lifechangestrust.org.uk

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