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  • Help and support

Young Start

Creating opportunities for children and young people aged between 8 and 24
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Funding size:
£10,000 - £50,000
Total available:
£8.9 million in year one
Application deadline:

Young Start is pausing

The Young Start fund will be pausing in early November 2017

It’s now more than five years since Young Start first opened, so we are taking some time to review and reshape the fund.

We plan to reopen the fund in Spring 2018, and will continue to distribute money from dormant bank accounts to fantastic youth-led projects across Scotland.

We will continue to accept applications up until noon on Tuesday 7 November.

Applying for Young Start while it's paused

The application form is no longer available on our website.

If you would like to apply, please get in touch with our friendly Advice Team to discuss your plans:

We anticipate that there will be a lot of competition for grants before the pause and so have extended the turnaround time from application to decision from 8 to 12 weeks.

If you are considering applying before 7 November, please note that we are only likely to fund projects where young people are strongly involved in the planning and delivery of the work.

We are also looking to fund projects that make use of the strengths of their local communities, and that will achieve another of the Young Start outcomes on top of improving young people’s confidence.

Key dates

Deadline for submitting

Noon Tuesday 7 November 2017

Applicants notified of our decision

Tuesday 30 January 2018

About Young Start

Video transcript

Young Start distributes money from dormant bank accounts. It aims to create opportunities for children and young people aged between 8 and 24 to help them realise their potential.

The success rate for Young Start funding is 45%. This is based on decisions made between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. Please read our blog for more information on success rates.

Before you submit your application to us, please read our blog to help make sure your application is complete.

From April 2016, we won’t accept Young Start applications from groups that have received two or more Young Start grants until at least two years after the most recent grant has ended.

What we're looking for

Young Start can support projects that meet one or more of these outcomes.

  • Confident – Children and young people have more confidence and skills.
  • Healthy – Children and young people have better physical, mental and emotional health.
  • Connected – Younger and older generations are better connected and have more understanding and respect for each other.
  • Enterprising – Young people are better prepared for getting a job or starting a business.

Applying for Young Start

Who can apply?

  • Voluntary organisations
  • Community groups
  • Social enterprises
  • Housing associations
  • Sports organisations
  • Co-operatives
  • Charities.

What can you apply for?

We expect to fund a wide range of projects for up to 2 years that will make children and young people aged 8 to 24 more confident, healthy, connected or enterprising. We are keen to see projects involve young people in their development, design and delivery, as well as projects that make the most of existing resources and potential within the community.

Here are just a few examples of what a Young Start grant can pay for:

  • Staff costs
  • Activity costs
  • Training costs
  • Venue hire
  • Purchasing or leasing a new vehicle
  • Transport costs including travel expenses
  • Materials or equipment such as IT equipment for the projects
  • Publicity and marketing costs
  • Equipment hire or purchase
  • Volunteer expenses.

The Big Lottery Fund is a living wage friendly funder. This means that we encourage our applicants to pay their staff the UK Living Wage.

Please visit our Living Wage page for more information


Organisation Types

  • Voluntary or community organisation