1.8 million Young Start funding strikes a chord with Young Scots

From: Big Lottery Fund
Published: Fri May 24 2024

Children and young people across Scotland can continue pursuing their passion for music thanks to a £1.8 million cash boost from Young Start.

The money will be shared between 22 Scottish organisations supporting children, teenagers and young adults. Young Start, delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund, awards dormant bank account funding to projects that help young people reach their full potential.

See full list of projects attached, [PDF 135KB].

Roma-led, charity Ando Glaso will use their £100,000 award to establish a creative hub for young Roma people in Glasgow. The group helps the young people connect with their culture and heritage through music and dance and works to dismantle barriers that many young Roma often face in accessing creative industries.

Matus Jaco first came to Ando Glaso when he was 16 years old. Four years on he is a youth worker at the project, supporting other young people to nurture their passion for Roma music.

Matus said: “I was introduced to the project by my friend's older brother. He knew I was into music, so he brought me along. At the time I was still listening to the newest pop songs. I wasn't listening to the old, traditional songs of my culture. But since I've been coming here, I've been learning more and more and realising how much I love Roma music.

“We have a lot of younger kids joining the group. It's definitely a journey of discovery for them as not every younger person knows a lot about their own culture. We try to educate them and help them reconnect. Many of them don't have any role models so that's where me and the other mentors come in, we give them a space where they can learn. When I was younger, I didn't have a mentor either, I had to learn everything by myself. Now I feel great that I am able to help these young people find their way.”

“Through the group we are showing everyone what our culture means to us. Our door is always open for people to come and learn more. We are proud to be Roma and we show the young people that they can be proud to be Roma as well.”

Creative Director at Ando Glaso, Janos Lang said: “Roma music and dance is a key part of our heritage and therefore a very important tool to help us be more active in the community. We want to encourage Roma people to feel more at home.

“With this new hub we will focus on bringing in more young people in and we will continue bringing in tutors and start running workshops. The most important people are the young people because they are the next generation, so we try to equip them with what they need to use culture as a tool for engagement. We want to bring Roma arts, culture and heritage into the mainstream."

Another organisation to receive funding is Edinburgh-based Oi Musica who receive £77,394 to provide free music sessions for local children and young people.

14-year-old, Martha Evans from Portobello learnt to play the drums through support from the group. She said: “I first heard about Brass Blast when my friend's brother was playing there, and it looked like a lot of fun. So, my mum signed me up for it as soon as I was old enough to go.

“Never in a million years would I have imagined playing the drums, but I tried it and absolutely loved it. Being partially deaf, I never saw myself being involved in music or playing an instrument, but Brass Blast is so inclusive and it's never a problem.

“The difference between Brass Blast and any other orchestra or band is that it's so youth driven. We get so much control over what songs we play, how we play them, and we even get opportunities to lead the band.

“Fast forward five years and I'm still playing the drums to this day. Music is a massive part of my life and I owe that all to Brass Blast. When I'm playing, I feel so happy, surrounded by people - bonded by our love of music. I couldn't imagine my life without it.”

Olivia Furness, Project Lead said: “Our project is all about removing the barriers that some young people face in getting involved with music and giving them opportunities to learn to play and perform. The funding from Young Start has come at a critical time for us as demand for accessible music opportunities is high and in the past 18 months we have doubled in size to try and meet this. We are excited about the future and grateful for this funding to ensure the project can continue to welcome so many young people.”

Announcing the funding Kate Still, Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland said: “We're thrilled to be able to continue funding such a broad range of vital projects for young people all over Scotland. Young people like Matus and Martha sharing their stories reminds us how important these groups are, and how many young lives are improved by Young Start funding.”

Young Start helps young people aged eight to 24 become more confident and play an active part in realising their potential. Funding of up to £100,000 is available for youth led projects. Groups can apply by emailing advicescotland@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or calling .  

Find out more at: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/young-start 

Notes to Editors

Under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008, the Reclaim Fund releases funds from dormant bank accounts to The National Lottery Community Fund for distribution to good causes across the UK

Dormant accounts are defined in the Dormant Bank and Building Scoiety Accounts Act 2008 as those which have seen no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years.

The Reclaim Fund Ltd (RLG), which was established in March 2011 to receive and invest dormant account balances across the UK, transferred the first tranche of monies from dormant bank and building society accounts to The National Lottery Community Fund on 2 August 2011. Scotland receives 8.4% of the total funds distributed.

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest non-statutory community funder in the UK - community is at the heart of our purpose, vision and name.   

 We support activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable and that will strengthen society and improve lives across the UK.  

 We're proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to work closely with Government to distribute vital grants and funding from key Government programmes and initiatives. 

Young Start

Helping young people aged eight to 24 to become more confident and play an active part in realising their potential.

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Company: Big Lottery Fund

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