17/05/2012 - BIG Invests Millions in Future of UK Youth
The Big Lottery Fund has awarded £25 million through its Realising Ambition scheme to 25 projects across the UK that work with young people living in disadvantaged areas or considered at risk of offending due to different factors.
The funding will support long-term intervention projects in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and it is expected to result in preventing a quarter of a million young people from becoming involved in criminal activity and anti-social behaviour over the course of the next three to five years.
The 25 projects, run by charities, universities and health trusts, range in their focus and include preventing substance misuse, teaching alternatives to conflict, aggression and violence, challenging prejudice, and increasing academic engagement. Some of the projects will work with targeted groups of young people who are already exhibiting signs of problematic behaviour such as aggression and violence toward others.
Catch22, the young people’s charity, selected the 25 winning projects, along with the Young Foundation, the Dartington Social Research Unit, Substance and Rathbone.
Barnardo’s will use its £1.5 million to introduce the LifeSkills Training programme to the UK. This is a substance abuse and violence prevention programme which has proved successful in the US.
Action for Children will use its £1.4 million for a family therapy project.
Big Lottery Fund Chief Executive Peter Wanless said:
“There’s a very high price to the individual and to society when a young person is sucked into a life of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity. Yet there are programmes of support in the UK and abroad which have been shown can keep people on a positive path.
“With Catch 22’s help, we are extending massively the reach of 25 projects that have been shown to work well and have the potential to be replicated well beyond the numbers they are currently helping. Our support will help thousands of young people across the UK to increase their prospects and aspirations, overcome problematic behaviour and avoid pitfalls that could ultimately lead them into a cycle of offending.
“But the benefits we hope will be wider still. This investment will build an evidence base so the UK can understand far better how we can more effectively support children and young people in the future and prevent first time offending.”
BIG’s support for the 25 projects comes from its Realising Ambition programme, which aims to replicate or scale up proven approaches that have a strong track record of improving the lives of disadvantaged and marginalised young people.
All of the projects will be rigorously tested and evaluated as they run over the next five years so that they can provide solid insight into how society can work more effectively to help young people and prevent anti-social behaviour and youth offending in future.
A list of the 25 projects can be found on the Big Lottery Fund website.
Source: BIG, 17/05/2012
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