Funding available for rural youth groups

young people playing game with Youth Scotland graphic
Norette Ferns

Funding is available to help develop and grow community-based youth work provision in rural areas of Scotland.

After a successful first year, the Youth Scotland Rural Action Fund is back for a second year, with support again from The Robertson Trust and joined this year by the Gannochy Trust.

Grants of between £100 and £750 are available to enable youth groups in rural communities to provide more and/or better youth work opportunities for young people.  

Over the course of the first year, the Youth Scotland Rural Action Fund:

  • reached 3,176 young people
  • awarded £28,872 funding to 55 projects
  • supported 478 people volunteering over 5,700 hours of time

The £60,000 fund has been made possible with £30,000 from each of The Robertson Trust and The Gannochy Trust. It will provide the resources to further help Youth Scotland build on and extend their support for youth work in rural communities.

In year two, groups will again have access to a micro grant scheme and will see one-off awards of between £100-£750 offered for small, volunteer-led youth projects and clubs to enhance existing provision for young people or increase capacity to deliver a specific project or programme.

Stewart Macgregor, Funding Manager at The Robertson Trust, said:

"By supporting small, volunteer-led youth groups in rural communities, the Rural Action Fund has improved access to local youth work and made a tangible difference to the lives of young people, many of whom are at risk of increased isolation.

"As Scotland’s largest independent grant-making Trust, we are committed to finding innovative ways of using our resources and collaborating with others to broaden our reach.

"The Rural Action Fund reflects this commitment and we are excited to see the impact it makes in its second year."

Carol Downie, Chief Executive, at The Gannochy Trust, said:

"Young people and youth work have a major role to play in society and in the development of vibrant communities. Youth work settings provide a safe place for young people to go: reducing isolation; creating a sense of belonging and providing new experiences and opportunities. However, youth work in Scotland has been going through a challenging time with the sector facing a significant reduction in resources.

"This unique collaboration between The Robertson Trust, The Gannochy Trust and Youth Scotland aims to support youth clubs and groups in rural and remote areas to deliver effective provision that inspires and supports young people."

Ian McLaughlan, Chief Executive of Youth Scotland, said:

"With around a third of our membership groups in rural or remote areas, the Rural Action Fund is a great way for us to support rural groups who may be disproportionally affected by reductions in funding for universal youth work.

"We’re extremely encouraged by the tremendous impact that year one has already made in supporting groups in sustaining and increasing the provision of youth work opportunities in rural communities. In addition to this, many groups also told that the funding sustained their existing provision, which would have ceased without the support.

"These groups provide an invaluable range of experiences and opportunities for young people to develop new skills, have fun and contribute to their communities. I would encourage any rural group to look at an application for year two."

The next deadline for the funding is 1 November 2019

Visit the Youth Scotland website to find out more about the fund and to apply