Young Scots have their say in spending lottery multi-millions
Opening for business today, the Young People’s Fund gives young people in Scotland the chance to direct National Lottery funding for the first time ever. Over the next two years the Young People’s Fund will distribute £20 million in Scotland to young people aged 11 to 25.
And in a groundbreaking move, young people themselves will be making the bulk of the decisions as to where the money goes. Run by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the lottery good cause distributors, the Young People’s Fund aims to make a tangible difference to the lives of young people living in Scotland today.
Kicking off the launch, Scotland and Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher, 21, took time off from training to join young people from across Scotland at the Glasgow Science Centre. He said, “The Young People’s Fund is a fantastic idea and it’s great to see so many young people involved in it right from the start. Too often young people are written off before they even have the chance to make a difference to their own lives and the lives of those around them. This £20 million will change the lives of some young people allowing them the chance to show just what they can do.”
Welcoming the launch of the Young People’s Fund, Robert Brown MSP Deputy Minister for Education and Young People said: “We want every child to get the best possible start in life and the Young People’s Fund will open up new opportunities for young people throughout Scotland. By giving every youngster the chance to use Lottery money to make a difference to their lives, the fund will give them the chance to follow their dreams by financing projects that improve their self-esteem and confidence.
“I hope that the Young People’s Fund’s positive influence will extend beyond the recipients themselves to their families and wider communities as they strive to become the next generation of ambitious, confident Scots.”
The Young People’s Fund will deliver funding for young people decided by young people at a local level. To achieve this half of the decision making committee will be young people aged 11-25. Young People’s Fund Committee* will be supported by 32 local panels across Scotland, made up of young people who will review and endorse local funding applications ensuring local priorities are met.
John Naylor Big Lottery Fund Board Member and Chair of the Young People’s Fund Committee, said: “I’m delighted to be working with the dynamic group of people, both young and old, who have been appointed to the Young People’s Fund committee. Young people have asked us to fund those projects they see as important in their local areas, as well as projects of national importance, and we hope to achieve that though this committee.
“This multi-million pound fund is open to all young people aged between 11 and 25 years-old. For the first time it means substantial funding is available allowing them to really express themselves in the way they want. The Big Lottery Fund believes it should be investing in the young rather than always condemning them.”
The youngest member of the 10-strong Young People’s Fund Committee is teenager Alan Newbigging, 14, from Alloa. For him sitting on the Young People’s Fund Committee means that he can be sure that young people of all ages are represented when key decisions are being made. He said, “Being chosen to be on such an important and innovative Committee is an excellent chance to make a big difference to the lives of young people throughout Scotland and I’m delighted to be a part of it.”
Marcus Liddle OBE, Chief Executive of the national youth information agency, Young Scot, said, “We have worked closely with the Big Lottery Fund in the creation of the Young People’s Fund and are delighted that it is now open for business. This fund puts the power in the hands of Scotland’s young people. It is the first time they have specifically had the chance to make the decisions over such a large pot of money and it is a very exciting time.”