Support for students struggling with poverty and trauma
An Action for Children support service is expanding on the back of funding from the Robertson Trust.
A donation of £450,000 has been awarded to the charity by the Scottish grant-making body to help prevent and mitigate the negative impacts of poverty and trauma in Scotland.
The funds will be used to enhance and expand the charity’s STAY programme which works to improve college retention, completion and success rates amongst young people struggling to contend with a range of complex issues outside of education.
Staff on the programme work with students to provide broader support for complex issues such as poverty, mental health, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse, money management, financial abuse and unemployment.
Action for Children’s staff also help young people with many of the initial barriers they may encounter at the onset of their courses such as applications, bursaries, grants, travel arrangements and shortage of IT equipment.
STAY has already demonstrated its value in colleges across Glasgow and Inverclyde and the funding will allow Action for Children to grow its support in the existing settings while also launching in Edinburgh College.
Six new staff members with experience and knowledge of the challenges facing young people will be brought on board, adding to the seven staff already working on the initiative. The programme will also launch in Edinburgh College for the first time.
Paul Carberry, Action for Children’s director for Scotland, said: “We are incredibly grateful for this funding which will allow Action for Children to reach more young in need of support. I would like to thank The Robertson Trust for its continued support for the work we do throughout Scotland.
“Action for Children’s STAY Programme is a crucial support service that helps young people sustain their education amidst the life challenges they have to contend with in their personal lives. We always employ a holistic approach in our work with children, young people and families and the STAY programme is an excellent example of this.
“Mental wellbeing is a vital prerequisite for learning and this initiative works to help young people create a stable foundation in their life so they are in a position to pursue education and enhance the opportunities available to them.”
Action for Children was just one of six organisations that were successful in their application for funding. Demand was extremely high, with 155 proposals submitted to the Trust, requesting over £47 million to fund projects across the country.
Commenting on the announcement of the Partners in Change awards, Lesley MacDonald, head of giving at The Robertson Trust, said: “The current global health crisis has clearly demonstrated the role that communities, as well as the organisations working with them, have in addressing need and enacting change. But the crisis has also highlighted the huge strain under which these communities and organisations already were, and the need they have for better resources and support.
“Partners in Change aims to get behind aspirational change plans to shift the problems caused by poverty and trauma in Scotland. I am delighted that we are able to support these organisations, which have demonstrated their ambition to make a difference to the communities and people with whom they work and who are affected by poverty and trauma across the country.
“We received an extremely high number of applications for funding, totalling over £47 million. Unfortunately, we are unable to fund every project in this round of funding but are committed to working with the third sector, organisations, communities and individuals to ensure we can support them in other ways, including helping to build capacity, skills and capability.
"We look forward to working with our partners and are keen to learn alongside them, to understand what helps and hinders in achieving our mutual ambition of ending poverty and trauma, and its negative impacts, in our society.”