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£50 Million Scottish investment aims to transform lives

5 March 2010

Young people leaving care and individuals with dementia targeted with new funding

Alison Magee, Scotland Chair, BIG Lottery Fund

I am delighted to be able to announce a new £50 million Lottery investment in Scotland aimed at transforming the life chances of young people leaving care and fundamentally improving the lives of older people with dementia and their carers.

I made the announcement today at Bute House, Edinburgh, the official residence of First Minster Alex Salmond, who welcomed the news on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Our key aim is to use lottery funding to improve all of Scotland’s communities by targeting support directly at those most in need. Through this specific investment package we want to address the key challenges faced by young people leaving care and people with dementia in Scotland by focussing on the specific needs of those individuals involved.

The hurdles we face in effectively addressing these challenges are formidable:

  • Approximately 71,000 people have dementia in Scotland in 2010
  • This is expected to rise by nearly 79% to 127,000 by 2031
  • Alzheimer Scotland estimates that the cost of dementia to the Scottish economy in 2007 was between £1.5 and £1.7 billion.

There are approximately 15,000 looked after children in Scotland:

  • 1% of Scottish children have been in care
  • 50% of Scottish prisoners have been in care
  • 80% of Scottish prisoners convicted of violence have been in care
  • 34.6% of young people looked after at home had no qualifications at SCQF level 3+, compared to a national average of 3.1%

While some previous grant funding programmes have been set up to address one single aspect of people’s lives at a time, we want to develop a new approach which looks at supporting all aspects of an individual’s life together in one package; a person centred approach over a much longer period of time which is committed to driving forward positive change in peoples’ circumstances.

This significant and substantial funding package will be invested in order to make a step change to the lives and life chances of some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland today, which we believe will in turn make a positive difference to every Scottish community.

“We know that in order to more effectively tackle issues of this magnitude we must take a fresh look at how we can approach this task and how we can make this new funding work harder for us in order to achieve the high aspirations we have set ourselves. That’s why we are delighted to have already benefitted from the wholehearted support of the Scottish Government  in developing today’s announcement and are committed to working with them and other key stakeholder in these areas over the coming months to examine innovative and effective ways in which we can deliver this investment efficiently and effectively over a long term period.

Today’s announcement is only the start of our plans for the next five years. As you will already know, in December 2009 BIG revealed that it will have around £400 million to invest in Scotland between 2010 and 2015. We have been working on the development of the remainder of our new programmes since the publication of our Strategic Framework last year, and we are on track to finalise the rest of our plans in the coming months.

We promise to keep you posted as we build on the announcement we’ve made today, and move forward to the development of all our investment plans for the next five years.

Alison Magee

Scotland Chair, BIG lottery Fund

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