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17 June 2008

STEVENSON CALLS ON MORE YOUTH GROUPS TO APPLY FOR FUNDING UNDER ‘CASHBACK FOR COMMUNITIES’ SCHEME AS BUCHAN YOUTH FORUM RECIEVES £2181

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson today congratulated the Buchan Youth Forum on receiving £2,181.00 from the Scottish Government’s “CashBack for Communities” scheme and called on more local groups to apply for funds under the new project.

The ‘CashBack For Communities’ project, a ground-breaking initiative to use the proceeds of crime to make a positive difference to young people's lives is one that will see £3 million seized from criminals being used for a variety of community projects.

In the recent release of funds some £81,000 has been set aside to Aberdeenshire council to fund community youth projects. With only £28,620 so far awarded, there will now be a second round of applications to access the remaining £52,380.

The Buchan Youth Forum consists of a group of young people who help other groups in the Buchan area access funding and meet with local youths to see what they would like done within their community.

Commenting on the announcement Mr Stevenson said:

I am very pleased that Buchan Youth Group has been awarded this sum of money under “CashBack for Communities”. They are providing a terrific service and are fully deserving of this cash boost. With there still being a large pot of money left over I would also encourage more groups to make applications to obtain the remaining sums, the old adage “if you don’t ask you don't get” seems to ring true in this case.

“The CashBack for Communities is a fantastic scheme set up by this Government and sees, for the first time, criminal money being distributed back into the local community.

“The focus of the funding has been on those projects and organisations that offer potential solutions to the problem of anti-social behaviour within sections of your youth populations and to further support a whole range of community groups and youth projects.

“Under the arrangement all Youth organisations and projects within Aberdeenshire have been able to apply for a share of a pot of £81,000. However there still a large sum left over from the first round of applications I encourage those groups with a vested interest to apply.

“The CashBack for Communities scheme is one that intends to provide funding for projects which support young people involved, or at risk from violence, alcohol, drugs or antisocial behaviour. This means money is available for initiatives such as youth drop-in services and sporting and recreational activities such as climbing walls, skate parks, mountain bikes.

“There are a number of fantastic initiatives already working within the Banff and Buchan area. These projects which work in conjunction with community police officers, local authorities and volunteers do a terrific job in getting youths involved in activities which interest them and keep them out of trouble.
“The vast majority of young people don’t set out to get themselves in trouble; it is often the result of a lack of direction and a lack of leisure activities that they themselves want to get involved in.
“This is the reason the promotion of football, skate parks and other sporting activities have been such a success. By offering the young kids the facilities to enjoy themselves we help keep them from engaging in nuisance and anti-social behaviour.
“For all those wanting to access funding for prospective projects I recommend they get in contact with Youthlink Scotland who are accepting applications for funding as we speak. I must urge all those interested to start organising their application as there is a deadline of 29th August 2008.”

Stewart Stevenson
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