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Posted on: Tuesday 17th December 2013


Earlier in December, YouthLink Scotland launched the first ever book documenting the stories behind communities who have benefited from the proceeds of crime.

The book tells the stories of young people involved with innovative projects across the country and how this money makes a real difference to communities.

Sixteen projects from across Scotland have contributed to the book. The stories include how the ‘beautiful game’ has reduced anti-social behaviour in Aberdeen, how graffiti art is being used to engage young people in East Ayrshire in a positive way and why a film project in Craigmillar is lifting the shadow of gloom from disaffected local young people.
Cashback is a unique Scottish Government initiative that takes money from criminals using the Proceeds of Crime Act and invests it back into communities. YouthLink Scotland administer the CashBack for Communities Youth Work Fund on behalf of Scottish Government.

The book was formally launched at Craigmillar Library in Edinburgh by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP.  The event brought to life the pages of the book, showcasing some of the incredible projects that are giving a host of opportunities to young people and reducing anti-social behaviour as a result.

Projects from Dumfries and Galloway to Shetland are involved in the new book and some of them came along on the day to show off their skills. Young people from the Vogrie Park Project in Midlothian demonstrated their outdoor skills by cooking up a storm in the camp kitchen. Youth Under Construction from North Ayrshire presented a snowboarding display.  The ‘CashBack Flicks’ showed a selection of films including ‘Tough Guise’, a piece looking at male violence and attitudes.  YMCA Kirkcaldy provided some ‘fit stompin’ music and some of the nation’s budding footballers from Granite City United displayed their fancy footwork.

Cabinet Secretary listening to boy playing guitar with young people from PEEKCommenting, Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill MSP said:

“Scotland’s young people are the key to building an even more prosperous country for the future and I am truly delighted to have the opportunity to see how Cashback money has funded unique opportunities for so many.

“The Scottish Government recently announced over £24m of funding to support projects specifically targeted at improving the lives of young people across Scotland to continue this commitment into 2014 and beyond.”

Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland, Jim Sweeney
also welcomed the launch of the new book:

“The pages of this book are full of positive stories and the proof is there in black and white, this money is nothing short of a lifeline for some of our hardest to reach young people. Over the last five years, money from CashBack has helped young people access life-changing youth work opportunities which has given them more optimism for the future and has proved to many young people they can achieve their ambitions despite difficult life circumstances. It’s an investment in the next generation, helping to create confident and engaged citizens.”

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