Scottish Minister Siobhian Brown visits CashBack For Communities Programme

Tue 23rd May 2023

MSP and 3 people holding CashBack and RCF prop

Siobhian Brown MSP, the Scottish Minister for Victims and Community Safety visited the Rangers Charity Foundation today.

The Minister and her team were met by Foundation Chief Executive, Connal Cochrane and Jamie Duncanson, Community Programmes Manager for pitchside photos and an overview presentation of the Charity’s work before the Minister met directly with CashBack For Communities – Towards New Futures candidates and staff.

CashBack For Communities – Towards New Futures is a Scottish Government funded programme which aims to re-engage young people with current or past convictions and help them move towards a more positive future including working, training or further education. Candidates often have complex backgrounds and can also access the Foundation’s Trauma Counselling Service.

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.

This season, 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.

Candidates on the current programme 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.“

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 programme is free for attendees and is run four days per week for eight weeks. Participants will also have continued support after completion of the course to help them stay motivated and on track to achieving their goals.

For more information about our community programmes, click here.

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