Young Scots have the chance of extra help to realise their potential thanks to £18m funding from Young Start.

Voluntary sector organisations which involve young people in the design, running and evaluation of projects can apply for grants ranging from £10,000 to £100,000 for activities that focus on changing the lives of children and young people between eight and 24 years of age.

 The funding is available for projects that:

  • encourage children and young people to have better positive physical, mental and emotional wellbeing,
  • help children and young people have better connections with others,
  • support and inspire children and young people to access new skills and training opportunities which will get them a job or start a business.

Young Start accesses monies from dormant bank accounts and is run by the Big Lottery Fund.

Announcing the new funding, Ms Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government said: ‘Young Start helps ensure that Scotland’s next generation has the best possible start in life.   I am delighted to announce this latest round of investment that will support young people across the country to realise their ambition.

‘Over the last five years Young Start has funded a wide range of fantastic projects helping thousands of young Scots to achieve their potential. 

“I am particularly pleased that, in the Year of Young People, they will be at the heart of project design and delivery.’

 Since launching in 2012 Young Start has awarded £29.5m to 693 projects supporting Scotland’s young people just like single Glasgow mum, Megan Walker.  Megan, 21, has been inspired to think about setting up her own business after completing a programme at social enterprise, Gilded Lily. 

 She said, ‘Being a part of this has really helped me come out of my shell and I’m not scared about the future anymore and only excited about the things that lie ahead.  I’ve been accepted to do a course at the City of Glasgow college to do health and social care.  I want to get a qualification behind me before I start my business.  A whole new future has opened up for me’

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: ‘We are delighted to be re-opening the Young Start fund with a pot of dormant bank account funding that has the power to achieve great things for Scotland’s children and young people.  

“The Young Start programme was paused last year, to allow us to review and reshape it, led by feedback from applicants, young people and the wider youth sector.  We are particularly keen that young people are at the heart of project design and delivery and look forward to hearing from groups with a range of ideas to help young people reach their potential.’

Young Start funding is aimed at organisations working with young people aged between eight and 24 years of age. It is not open to individuals. Group can apply for up to three years and there are no application deadlines.

Groups wanting to know more or who require support with their application should visit

biglotteryfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/young-start or contact 0300 123 71110.