The Trust delivered a pilot scheme of Individual Grants during 2014, with a total funding of £100,533
The aim of the pilot was to give young people with care experience the opportunity to identify for themselves what would make a positive difference in their lives, and to provide a small grant to make this happen. The pilot was designed to test out Individual Grants to evaluate whether they could make a positive difference to young people’s lives. During the pilot period, young people could apply for funding for anything which would improve their immediate circumstances or support their personal development.
The Individual Grants, available in Glasgow City and the Highlands during the pilot phase, offered a small grant of up to £500 for any young person aged 14- 26 years with experience of being in care. The grants were designed to be highly flexible.
The pilot allowed us to learn directly from young people themselves about the things that matter to them. It also demonstrated how young people can apply a small amount of money to make a difference in their lives – either to meet an immediate need or to support personal development. For many young people, having a choice and the opportunity to control a small budget was highly significant in itself.
During the pilot period, 218 grant applications were received. The Trust adjusted the pilot budget and made more awards than originally planned – 209 in total. Applications varied considerably. However, there were trends, with requests relating to learning to drive being the most popular (32%). Other popular requests included IT equipment, support for independent living, bicycles, musical instruments/tuition, tools, training courses, and sporting equipment.
Feedback on the pilot was overwhelmingly positive, and gave the Trust good evidence for considering or supporting individual grants in the future. The pilot was delivered in partnership with Barnardo’s, Includem and Who Cares? Scotland, whose staff helped young people to apply. Staff members from Highland Council and Glasgow City Council also supported the pilot.