Siobhian Brown MSP, the Minister for Victims and Community Safety visited the Rangers Charity Foundation to meet with the CashBack – Towards New Futures team and participants.
The Minister and her team were met by Foundation Chief Executive, Connal Cochrane, and Community Programmes Manager, Jamie Duncanson, for a presentation of the CashBack activity before the Minister met directly with CashBack – Towards New Futures participants and staff.
CashBack– Towards New Futures is a person-centred employability and re-engagement project for the highest tariff of vulnerable young people who have recently left prison or who are at risk of having experience of the criminal justice system. CashBack participants improve their employment prospects and CVs by completing accredited employability focused qualifications, first-aid and mental health courses. The initiative includes a variety of formal and industry recognised awards utilising the Foundation’s SQA Centre status.
Within the current cohort, 100% of candidates on the course reported increased confidence and resilience as a result of attending the course and 95% report that their own participation in antisocial and/or criminal behaviour has reduced.
The young people were completing their First Aid at Work Award (SCQF Level 6) when Minister Brown visited and graduates from the previous course, Courtney, Declan and Darren, who have been assisted into employment thanks to the programme, also attended on the day.
Reflecting on her CashBack journey, Courtney said:
Before I started I was constantly in trouble with the police, drinking all the time and I ended up being put on a restricted movement order. On top of that I was given 18 months’ probation. Since I started the course I’ve not been in any trouble and I’ve been focused and I’ve been trying to give myself a chance because if I didn’t come here and start this programme I’m sure I would’ve ended up on the wrong path.I’m still sticking to all my stuff that I need to do and now that I’ve got a job as well I’m a lot happier than I was before I started CashBack. I feel like I’m not just surviving anymore, I feel like I’m living.
Ms Brown said:
I am delighted to have seen and heard first hand, the transformational impact that CashBack funding has had on the lives of young people. To provide the best chances for their future, we should nurture all young people to fulfil their potential through interventions which help reduce the risk of offending and that encourage positive behaviour. For the past 15 years, Cashback has helped countless young people across Scotland to find better futures, realise their ambitions and reach their full potential.
Foundation Chief Executive Connal Cochrane said:
We were delighted to welcome the Minister today and discuss the Foundation’s charitable and community work, of which we are immensely proud. Over the last 3 years we have supported 132 young people with significant barriers to employment on the programme who have achieved 168 SQA Awards. For many this is the first qualification they have attained. We are a Foundation for Potential and we want to make sure that we are helping as many people as possible to improve their lives.