£243,939 National Lottery Award For ‘The Usual Place’

The Usual Place in Dumfries has recently received a £243,939.00 National Lottery Award from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Usual Place Team are very proud to be a recipient of this significant funding, alongside another 245 groups across Scotland.

Every young person leaving school has the right to equal opportunities to train, learn and work. This fund will enable us to continue to deliver life-changing, vocational opportunities to Young People with Additional Support Needs.

Since its inception, The Usual Place has delivered vocational opportunities as a bespoke and personalised experience, enabling local young disabled people to build on their existing talents and skills and gain experience in a real working environment while working towards externally accredited qualifications including Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), and Dynamic Youth Awards.

We know that young disabled people are greater than they think they are and that with the right opportunities can contribute equally to the economy and their communities.

Young people have used knowledge, skills and qualifications gained in The Usual Place to move onto a variety of employment sectors, including most recently, working throughout the lockdown in key worker roles. Young people have also been inspired to becoming self-employed business owners.

The Usual Place team are pleased to receive this funding which will enable us to continue our vital work, enabling young people with additional support needs to achieve their vocational, educational, and civic ambitions.

These have been challenging and unprecedented times, but young people have demonstrated their resilience, continuing their learning through an online programme where they completed a range of vocational and social projects, including kitchen garden growing, online cook-a-longs with Chef Assessor Tony Budde and making a start on writing a cookery book.

Alison Ball, Autism Awareness Officer for The Usual Place, said: “Young People have worked hard during Lockdown, continuing their learning over Zoom and engaging in a range of vocational and social activities. Importantly young people engaged with local and national decision makers including The Scottish Government and Glasgow University.  This enabled decision makers to hear directly from Young People with Additional Support Needs about what is happening now in their communities and what needs to happen in the months and years to come to ensure that no one is left behind and that young disabled people are enabled to contribute equally to the Scottish Governments ambition to build back better.”
The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still: said: “In these unprecedented times, it’s heartening to see the way Scottish communities are coming together to provide each other with support.   I would like to congratulate The Usual Place on their award which is testament to the incredible efforts of their staff and volunteers. National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is making such a difference.”

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