You can bank on this

22nd February 2008 at 00:00
More than a dozen new "YouthBanks" are to be set up in Scotland, and those already established are to be given an injection of cash to guarantee their survival.

YouthBanks are run by 11 to 25 year-olds and aim to hand out small grants to fund other young people's ideas to improve their local community.

For example, a grant of pound;500 from the Glasgow East YouthBank to the Pavilion Youth Project funded an exchange trip to Belfast for young people to look at issues around territorialism and sectarianism. And Ullapool Rugby Club was able to design and purchase its own strips, thanks to pound;500 from Ross and Cromarty YouthBank.

There are already 17 youth banks in Scotland, but a further 13 will be developed. The expansion has been made possible by a grant of more than pound;500,000 from Big Lottery Scotland.

It is estimated that more than 500 young people will benefit from the network of banks over the next three years, gaining confidence, a sense of community and skills in financial management, presentation and leadership through participating in local grant-making.

Jim Sweeney, director of YouthLink Scotland, the driving force behind the development, said: "This is a highly educational project that hits a lot of buttons. This money will make a massive difference in terms of the development and sustainability of YouthBanks."

E: hmcvey@youthlink.co.uk.

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