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There is no doubt that Covid-19 and enforced social distancing has been a difficult time for all of us. We have missed our friends, families and social groups and lockdown has tested our resilience.

This challenging period has been further heightened for young disabled people with inevitable cuts in support systems and the shutting down of social opportunities, which are a vital link with the wider world.

In addition to this, for many young people lockdown has coincided with the final school, college or university term and the transition to the next stages of adult life. This loss of connection between peers at this tricky time in life has, without doubt, had a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of young disabled people.

That is why we are proud that ILF Scotland’s Transition Fund has continued to provide funding throughout this time,  supporting young people to explore opportunities that will help them build their confidence and help them to live more independent lives.

One such recipient is Hope, aged 23  from Dunfermline, who applied to the ILF Scotland Transition Fund to help her turn her passion for embroidery into an accessible hobby.

Hope explains: “I have a visual impairment and the ILF Scotland Transition Fund enabled me to purchase an embroidery machine which is computerised so it will make it easier for me to transfer my designs.”

Hope, a key worker, applied to the fund during lockdown and was surprised at how quickly she received her grant. “I thought that it would take longer given that a lot of things were closed due to the pandemic, but it was really quick. I am glad I wasn’t deterred by the turmoil that’s going on in life just now and just went for it.”

 

Funding for fun projects

For some young people, coming up with ideas as to what they could apply for, especially during lockdown, can be a stumbling block.  That’s why the team at ILF Scotland are on hand to help identify new activities to try.

This wasn’t an issue for 21-year old Craig Black from Cupar, Fife. He applied to the ILF Scotland Transition Fund in order to purchase software which allowed him to adapt an online creative project, Space Pirate Captain Mactaggart, into print.

For Craig, his comic book project was absolutely vital for helping him cope with the unpleasantness of the pandemic.

Craig explains: “As I don’t go to work or college or anything, this project gave me something to do during lockdown which was so important in helping me remain resilient during this challenging time.”

Craig is keen to encourage others to apply for funding, especially during this time. He added:

“ILF Scotland was really excited when I applied as they could see that my project was really different and showed that they were willing to fund fun stuff, as well as more practical projects.

“My advice is that if you’ve got an idea that you want to take to the next level then apply for funding to try something new.”

 

There is no doubt that young disabled people face many challenges, and these have been exacerbated during the global pandemic. We believe that by providing funding to try something new, they will be able to increase their confidence, get more involved with their communities, and ultimately live their lives to the full.

 

You can follow the stories of recipients of the Transition Fund on social media using the hashtag #TrySomethingNew.

Are you aged 16-25, live in Scotland, disabled or have an impairment, or know someone who might benefit from our support? Find out more about ILF Scotland’s Transition Fund, and apply for funding to #TrySomethingNew.