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Fife organisation receives Young Start funding boost

Published on 22/03/2013

Young start big fund

SmartLiving has been awarded £44,665 as part of the latest funding package from the Young Start Fund.

The funding from Young Start will allow SmartLiving (run by LinkLiving Ltd, part of the Link group) to continue its existing peer mentoring programme in Fife to help prevent homelessness among young people. Young Start aims to create opportunities to help them realise their potential.

SmartLiving will use the funding to recruit and train 30 young people (aged 16 to 25) from across Fife to become volunteer Peer Educators who can deliver the message of how difficult maintaining a tenancy can be. The Peer Educators are young people, with experience of homelessness or setting up a home for themselves at an early age, who give up their own time to deliver sessions to other youngsters. The sessions can cover anything from teaching young people how to prepare for living on their own to raising the issue of homelessness among young people.

Irene Blackburn, Volunteer Services Manager, said:

“We are delighted that Big Lottery Fund Scotland has awarded a Young Start grant to the Fife SmartLiving project. 

We know from experience that young people need information about housing options and they really value learning from others who have had first hand experiences of housing difficulty. SmartLiving is a great vehicle for volunteers to enhance their skills and gain confidence to allow them successfully to seek further training, education or employment. Last year, the project was able to provide advice to over 3000 young people – the Young Start funding means we can reach many more”.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen said: “The Young Start grants go to a broad range of thoughtful and innovative projects that will have a positive impact on those involved. We’re delighted that over the past year, Young Start has been able to support so many excellent projects, creating great opportunities for children and young people across Scotland.”

Run by the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, Young Start funds projects offering a range of healthy, intergenerational, fun and employability activities. The Young Start investment comes from dormant bank and building society accounts that have seen no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years.

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