Cashback Success For Declan: “It Changed My Life!”

Fri 19th February 2021

Declan Mackay has described his experience on the Foundation’s Cashback For Communities – Towards New Futures course as ‘life changing’ after landing a job and becoming financially independent as a result.

The 24 years old is now dreaming of one day setting up his own cleaning company after receiving help and encouragement from Derek Rhoddan and the team at the Foundation and securing a job as a cleaner at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Declan took part in the Foundation’s employment support programme for young people who have previously been involved in the criminal justice system following his release from prison.

His support worker and his Job Centre Plus work coach both encouraged him to make the most of the opportunity and Declan grabbed it with both hands.

“The course was fantastic!” he explained, “It has lots to offer those with the right mind set.”

“Derek was amazing, always supporting me, doing his best for me, even out of the normal hours, and the staff are still there for me anytime.”

“I felt like everyone went the extra mile for me.” 

“Anne my work coach was amazing. She really motivated me to take part and was able to help me with travel costs, otherwise I’d probably not have been able to start work.

“It has changed my life!”

Declan is enjoying his new job and the overtime he is putting in is allowing him to work towards his long-term career goal of starting his own cleaning company.

CashBack for Communities is a unique Scottish Government programme which takes funds recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and invests them into community programmes, facilities and activities largely aimed at diverting young people at risk away from potentially criminal or anti-social behaviour.

The Foundation’s Cashback – Towards New Futures programme aims to re-engage young people with current or past convictions and help them move towards a more positive future including working, volunteering or further education.

The project is delivered within Ibrox Stadium and works in partnership with four Scottish prisons and Govan Thriving Place (as well as other referral routes) to target and support a variety of young people aged 16 – 24 from the local area and beyond.

Participants will improve their physical and mental health by taking part in accredited fitness and coaching sessions and a mental health first aid course. The initiative includes a variety of formal and industry recognised awards (including utilising the Foundation’s SQA Centre status), vocational work experience and the development of core skills which will greatly enhance their employment prospects and CVs.

Participants will have continued support after completion of the course to help them stay motivated and on track to achieving their goals.

The programme is free and is run four days per week for eight weeks. 

A new course is starting on 8 March, and the Foundation is currently recruiting participants. For more information, or to get involved, email

Three participants from the Cashback course put their new skills to good use recently when they saved a women’s life by using their first aid knowledge.  Find out more here.

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