£9,000 of cash from Criminals goes to youth projects in Western Isles

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In this latest round of funding YouthLink Scotland has awarded £9,064 of CashBack funding to four organisations within the youth work sector across Western Isles to deliver a whole range of projects for local young people.

The CashBack for Communities Youth Work Fund is administrated and delivered by the National Agency for Youth Work, YouthLink Scotland on behalf of Scottish Government.

Lewis & Harris Youth Clubs Association was awarded £2,892 to provide young people with mountain biking sessions, building skills in biking and first aid while promoting a healthy lifestyle through the great outdoors.

The course also provides a nationally recognised accreditation through the Cycling Scotland GoMTB scheme.

Sean Ziehm-Stephen, Centre Manager, Scaladale Activity Centre said: “This project equates to well over three hundred hours of Mountain Biking instruction and would have been impossible without the generous support of Cashback for Communities.”

South Uist Youth Development Group also benefited from a grant of £1,248.

Paul Steele, youth worker welcomed this funding: “The funding we received has allowed us to set up a series of film screening nights for the young people in our area and film production workshops.

“As we don’t have a cinema on the island this unique experience of seeing films on a big screen will be something they will cherish. The project will also give local youngsters the chance to become film-makers themselves.”

Barra Youth Café also received £2,480 from CashBack for a series of outdoor activities near Oban, where local young people can take part in team building activities like climbing and gorge walking.

And Pointers Youth Committee were given £2,444 to hold music nights and other events in Lewis & Harris, targeting young people who do not fully engage within their community and encouraging them to have a good time without drinking or taking substances.

This will be promoted by free workshops around alcohol and substances abuse.

Commenting on the latest round of CashBack for Communities Youth Work Fund awards, Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson said: “Investing in our young people is always money well spent and I am delighted that the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities programme is providing this valuable funding for worthy projects across the Western Isles.

“This government is committed to ensuring all young people across the Western Isles reach their full potential.

“The vast majority of them are a credit to society but we want to prevent the small minority getting involved in crime or antisocial behaviour in the first place.

Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland, Jim Sweeney commented: “Crime is a real blight on our neighbourhoods and it is right that money from the proceeds of crime goes back to the very heart of our communities, our young people.

“We know that youth work really does change the lives of young people, not only across the Western Isles but in every part of Scotland.”