OYT Scotland has announced it is to benefit from funding from Cashback for Communities, the scheme that reinvests criminal assets into life-changing community projects.
As one of 24 organisations to receive funding, the Inverclyde based charity will use the funding to work with young people from across Scotland, helping divert them away from potentially criminal or anti-social behaviour and to steer them into positive destinations through its pioneering youthwork at sea.
This round of funding, amounting to £19m, takes the programme’s total investment to more than £110m since it began in 2008.
Ocean Youth Trust Scotland will support young people via a structured programme encompassing both elements of land-based youth work activity in schools, plus residential activity delivered in a sail training environment on board a 70ft yacht.
The young people taking part will be identified as those most likely to benefit from early intervention. The programme will explore risk taking behaviours on land and at sea whilst developing confidence, resilience, teamwork and personal and social skills.
The 12 month programme is aimed at tackling criminal behaviours by working with young people aged 12-15 – a group for which preventative measures and Early and Effective Intervention methods can be implemented.
Ocean Youth Trust Scotland provides youth work at sea for young people aged 12-25 from a variety of backgrounds. The Greenock based charity supports schools, youth groups, young carers, those from care experienced backgrounds and those struggling to achieve in education or their community.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said it was a “unique and potentially life-transforming programme”.
He added: “This phase of [the cash back scheme] has a particular focus on projects that support young people and communities most affected by crime.
“Since the programme began in 2008 we have delivered over two and a half million activities and opportunities for young people across Scotland and I am delighted that many further young people will be supported and inspired over the next three years.”
Ashley Mabon, Head of Fundraising at OYT Scotland, commented: “We have delivered a series of life-changing projects for a range of young people in recent years, thanks to support from CashBack for Communities.
“This latest funding pays testament to the positive impact our youth work has on changing the course of young people’s lives, while allowing us to direct a new segment of young people on to the right path.
“We are looking forward to kicking off this exciting project and to seeing the results it has on the young people with whom we work.”