A massive £2.5 million of life changing grants has been awarded by the Big Lottery Fund Scotland to help support communities and families in greatest need, helping them to overcome isolation and play a full part in Scottish society.
A buddy system for young people with learning disabilities and older people who need retraining in workplace skills are just two of the seven projects, covering all age groups, to receive funding.
An award of £314,946 to Interest Link Borders will fund its Children and Young People’s Befriending Project which supports children and young people aged between 8 and 25 who have a learning disability. The project uses a befriending model – offering a buddy to help those people overcome social isolation and improve their confidence, self esteem and life skills. It aims to support 130 young people and their families over three years in Berwickshire, Central Borders, Roxburgh and Tweeddale.
Andrew Findlay, Project Coordinator at Interest Link Borders, said: “We’re delighted to be awarded the grant of over £300k which will enable us to continue developing our befriending work with children and young adults with learning disabilities for the next three years. By involving young volunteers of school-age – both in groups and one-to-one settings – our project will overcome isolation and forge the social relationships essential for everyone’s wellbeing and personal development. By introducing overnight trips, the befriending groups will have the same range of experiences offered by mainstream youth groups, and extend carer respite.”
Scotland’s Learning Partnership receives £577,938 to fund the three year Reaching Older People with Employability Support (ROPES) project. It will work with long term unemployed people aged 50 to 64 to help them back into work by developing lost fundamental workplace skills such as timekeeping, working with others and social skills. It will help over 700 people who have been out of work for more than three years and who have additional barriers such as poor mental or physical health, caring responsibilities, learning difficulties or a history of offending.
Margaret Allan, Secretary of the National Learner’s Forum, said: “This award from the Big Lottery Fund is great news. It will make a huge difference to people aged fifty plus looking to get back into education, training and work and will really change lives.”
Outlining the difference the funding will make Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said, “Our Big Lottery Fund support focuses on helping people and communities in greatest need. With today’s awards, seven projects across the country, working with people of all ages, will be able to assist people living in some of Scotland’s most isolated communities overcome the barriers they face every day.
“All the funding announced today is going to be truly life changing, whether assisting young people with learning difficulties enjoy experiences similar to their peers or helping older people back into the workplace to enhance their lives.”
Check out the details of the other five organisations awarded funding in this news release.
You can also find details of 21 projects sharing over £190,000 through Investing in Ideas.