Just yesterday (8th of March, 2022) the Distillers' Charity announced the launch of the Youth Action Fund, an ambitious charity initiative created with the purpose of positively impacting the lives of young people across Scotland. An impressive initial sum of £2.5million raised by philanthropic efforts within the Scottish Whisky industry has already been committed to the Youth Action Fund to be distributed to support youth charities throughout the country.
The funds were raised by the Scottish Whisky industry at the at the inaugural 'Distillers' One of One Auction' last December. The event, organised in collaboration with Sotheby's auction house, was made possible by producers across the Scottish Whisky industry who generously donated a number of exclusive one-of-a-kind bottles for auction. Deputy First Minister John Swinney commented:
The amount raised is reflective of the generosity and the collaboration efforts of companies big and small across the Scottish Whisky industry, who have all come together to support our young people.
However, the work doesn't stop there. The Distillers' Charity is wholly devoted to ensuring that the capital raised is implemented in a way which will lead to long-term improvements in the life chances of Scotland's youth. Grant Gordon, Chair of the Distillers' Charity, explained that:
...the new Youth Action Fund will work with amazing charity to make a real difference to young people across the country, by offering education, vocational, and other life enhancing opportunities.
In order to stay true to their ambitions of creating real and sustainable impact on the lives of young people, the Distillers' Charity has commissioned Inspiring Scotland to collaborate on the project and help manage the distribution of the Youth Action Fund. Inspiring Scotland has experience working with communities and charities across Scotland, helping find tangible solutions to incredibly complex social problems. They have in-depth knowledge on working with the challenges faced by young people, and their expertise will ensure that the money is distributed in a truly transformative manner.
Inspiring Scotland will collaborate with the charity partners working with the Youth Action Fund to create projects that will empower young people and create real opportunities for them to thrive, with a particular focus on the disproportionate adversities felt by young people throughout the ongoing Covid pandemic. Speaking on behalf of Inspiring Scotland, Chief Executive Celia Tennant added:
For over 13 years, Inspiring Scotland has been working with the 8 to 10 per cent of young people in Scotland who need help, due to the inequality of opportunity created by experiences of poverty and trauma. This equates to around 35,000 young people who are struggling today to succeed, and while we have all been adversely affected by the pandemic, the impact of this group has been more harshly felt. Unemployment has risen and vital schooling, socialisation, and life experiences have been missed, and the queue of young people needing support is longer than ever. We're committed to ensuring that the efforts of the Youth Action Fund will lea to a significant and demonstrable effect on the life chances of many young people in Scotland.
Four charity partners, all which share the goals of enriching communities in Scotland by supporting young people, have already been selected to work collectively with the Fund. The charities are: Aberdeen Foyer (Based in Northeast Scotland, supports at-risk young people with their well-being and employability), Enable Scotland (delivers employment and skills support service across Scotland, with a focus on helping people with disabilities an other challenges), Street League (supports young people at risk of future unemployment, and uses the 'power of sport' to help them get active and practice positive thinking), and The Alcohol Education Trust (supporting young people to make more informed life choices across the UK through early intervention).
The work being done by the Distillers' Charity with support of Inspiring Scotland and their devotion to meeting the real needs of young people across Scotland is truly admirable. We applaud the philanthropy of the Scottish Whisky industry, and as well as the continuous efforts of the Distillers Charity and other charities across Scotland in helping build a more equitable and enriched country.