The final year of CashBack for Communities Phase 3 saw 74,576 activities provided for Scotland’s young people from £5.3m recouped from the proceeds of crime, the latest annual report shows.
From sports to arts to training for employment, CashBack funds free activities and programmes for young people across Scotland designed to improve self-confidence and self-esteem for the young people who take part, whilst also supporting those communities worst hit by crime and anti-social behaviour.
Established in 2008, Scottish Government has committed £92m to CashBack support young people between 2008 and 2020.
The 2016-17 CashBack for Communities Annual Report provides a snapshot of the final year of the third phase of the programme which began in 2014.
Introducing the report, Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, said: “CashBack impacts on criminals and their illegal gains, reinvesting bad money for good purposes to build better, safer, healthier communities, improving facilities, running projects that in many cases would otherwise simply not have existed, and giving our young people something positive, purposeful and constructive to do.”
Projects range from diversionary sporting activity to long-term and potentially life-changing intervention projects, which are intended to turn an individual’s life around and provide them with the opportunity of a positive destination such as employment, education, training or volunteering.
Mr Matheson continued: “I have seen first-hand the positive impact that CashBack-funded activities can have on young people and I am keen to ensure that these opportunities continue to be provided in disadvantaged communities across Scotland.”
Phase 3 ran from 2014 to 2017 and supported 357,000 young people to take part in activities and projects with £20m of funding, according to an independent evaluation produced by Research Scotland.
The evaluation found that at least 107,000 young people took part in culture, employability, youth work and sport for change activity, with an estimate of 250,000 involved through sporting activities. In addition, more than 13,600 young people use CashBack-funded facilities each week.
The CashBack for Communities programme is now in its fourth phase with £17m committed between 2017 and 2020.