Edinburgh youth projects celebrate £600k of Young Start funding

Young people jumping together in joy
Centre of the Moving Image, one of the nine fantastic Young Start projects sharing the latest round of funding in Edinburgh

Inspiring community projects are helping boost the mental health and wellbeing of young people in Edinburgh, thanks to £612,583 of dormant bank account funding. The cash from The National Lottery Community Fund’s Young Start fund goes to nine creative Edinburgh projects run for and by young people.

Here are a few of the incredible projects celebrating the funding:

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

New Vibe enables young people with diagnosed mental health problems to feel heard, supported and encouraged through music workshops as part of their planned recovery.” 

Music will play an integral part helping young people in Edinburgh and the Lothians address and recover from mental health issues, thanks to an innovative project developed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.  After a £30,000 award they will run free courses open to young people interested in any genre of music and regardless of their previous musical experience or ability.  

Welcoming the news, Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, Creative Learning Director, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, said: “This past year has been challenging for everyone, and in particular young people who are struggling with their mental health. We are delighted that this funding commitment from Young Start will help us to deliver the next three years of our New Vibe project in partnership with NHS Lothian’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  

New Vibe enables young people with diagnosed mental health problems to feel heard, supported and encouraged through music workshops as part of their planned recovery.” 

Action for Children

Action for Children will run a youth project for young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in Edinburgh after an award of £99,991.  The programme will cover a wide range of subjects, identified by the young people themselves, including heritage, sports, and music. 

Fiona Steel, Lead Operational Director Children’s Services Scotland, Action for Children, said: “We are grateful to Young Start for their support of our work in Edinburgh with young people from diverse backgrounds. 

“This funding will play a big part in allowing us to build on this work and continue to deliver a range of support to young people across Edinburgh. This vital work includes support to improve emotional wellbeing and mental health through one to one and group support sessions. 

“Since launching, our Heritage Project has worked in secondary schools across the capital building knowledge of cultural history and increasing participation in education and community activities for the young people it supports. Thanks to the support of Young Start, we will be able to continue this work over the next three years.” 

Community Enterprise Limited

“…It is life-changing for them and we are thrilled to be able to run this programme for another three years”.

Community Enterprise Limited will continue their successful ‘Creative Natives’ project for young people across the city, thanks to an award of £75,000.  Young people will be able to express themselves and learn new skills in a wide range of activities including fashion, animation and web-design.   

Douglas Westwater, CEO, Community Enterprise, said: “The funding from Young Start for ‘Creative Natives’ will allow us to support care experienced and disadvantaged young people to explore their creativity.  They tell us it is life changing for them and we are thrilled to be able to run this programme for another three years.”   

Young Start awards dormant bank and building society cash to youth-led projects across Scotland and is delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund. 

Scran Academy [pictured], were also one of the nine superb projects celebrating funding

Announcing the latest round of Young Start awards totalling £2,242,316, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said: “This funding will give a huge boost to hundreds of young people across Edinburgh helping them to build key skills and confidence for the future. 

“We are always keen to support projects which put Scotland’s young people at the heart of the development and running of services. If your group has an idea how you would make this happen, then we’d love to hear from you.” 

Read our Young Start funding announcement for Scotland, with the full list of awards here.

Feeling inspired? Find out more about Young Start funding and how you can apply here.

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