£35k seized crime cash goes to community projects

The Yard Adventure Centre, which featured on Children in Need, will benefit. Picture: Neil Hanna

The Yard Adventure Centre, which featured on Children in Need, will benefit. Picture: Neil Hanna

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More than £35,000 of cash seized from criminals has been dished out to community projects in the Capital.

Organisations set to benefit from the latest round of the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities Youth Work Fund include the Edinburgh City Youth Café, The Yard Adventure Centre, The Ripple Project, The Broomhouse Centre and YMCA 
Edinburgh.

The Ripple Project, in which volunteers work to improve the quality of life of residents in Restalrig, Lochend and Craigentinny, has been presented with £3305 to support its new girls-only drop-in cafe.

Manager Liz Ferguson said: “This will enable young people in our community to safely explore the issues they face that they may not have the confidence to discuss in a mixed setting and, with the support of trusted youth workers, to make more informed and positive life choices as a result.”

A £1548 cash boost for Christian charity YMCA Edinburgh will be used to run a community-based sports outreach programme to help young people avoid a life of crime.

Organiser Emile Van Loo said the money would make a real difference and “start a conversation” with children at risk of committing antisocial behaviour.

Broomhouse Young Carers, which is based at the Broomhouse Centre, was awarded £2324 towards its summer programme. The organisation provides respite to young carers aged seven to 18 years old through weekly support groups and holiday programmes.

The group offers an environment where young carers can access support, advice, share experiences, experience new activities and enjoy some respite from their demanding roles.

Fundraiser Doughall Laing said that as a result of the cash boost, Young Carers would be able to send members to take part in kayaking, a Ratho skyride, bowling, ice skating and barbecue events.

He added: “CashBack for Communities has provided much needed funding to keep the project open during the school summer holidays when young carers often feel very 
isolated.”

Over the past five years, more than £560,780 has been awarded to 86 projects in the Capital through the fund, which is administrated by the YouthLink Scotland.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “This is yet another example of criminal money being used to great success through the unique CashBack for Communities scheme.

“The initiative takes ill-gotten gains from criminals and invests it in community activities and facilities for young people at risk of turning to crime as a way of life.”