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More than £10m in life-changing funding awarded to over 5,000 young disabled people in Scotland in five years

Post Date: 2 December 2022

ILF Scotland celebrates Transition Fund achievements ahead of United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland, the public body that provides funding support to young disabled people living in Scotland, has awarded over £10m of funding to more than 5,000 people through its life-changing Transition Fund over the past five years.

ILF Scotland marks these milestones ahead of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (03 December) whose theme for 2022 is Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.

The Transition Fund, administered by ILF Scotland, is for disabled people aged between 16 and 25 and aims to help young people develop their independence, confidence, and participation within their communities. Since 2017, funds have been used for new activities and experiences that will improve the transition period from childhood into adulthood.

The Transition Fund’s five-year anniversary and achievements of the young people who have benefited from this transformative funding were celebrated at an event on 30 November at the Glasgow Science Centre.

This was attended by more than 100 young disabled people and their families from across Scotland and supported by Maree Todd MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport.

Peter Scott OBE, ILF Scotland Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are proud to celebrate five years of the Transition Fund, which has had a profound impact on more than 5,000 young disabled people from across every local authority in Scotland.

“The theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022 holds so much meaning to us and our recipients. Our funding support is truly transformative, helping to enhance confidence, independence and participation in Scotland’s communities and society at large, with a real drive towards ‘trying something new”.

“Since its inception in 2018, we have provided funding support to young disabled people across every Local Authority in Scotland. The number of applications and the value of funds awarded increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more young disabled turning to the Transition Fund for support. ILF Scotland also reported a rise in community participation after receiving funding from those young disabled people otherwise at risk of isolation.”

Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport added: “It was a real privilege to join ILF Scotland in celebrating the achievements of young people and the first five years of the Transition Fund.

“The Scottish Government fully recognises the challenges that many young disabled people experience as they transition to adult life and we are determined to improve the support offered to young people during this important period of their lives.

“I am therefore delighted to announce the launch of the ILF Scotland Transition Fund Technology Grant. This grant will be easy to apply for and offers the applicant the opportunity to get an iPad, a Surface Go 3 tablet or a Chromebook laptop to enable them to overcome digital isolation and connect with online and physical communities.”

Watch a video from a live stream of the event on YouTube.

Photocall of Transition Fund event guests in front of gold 5 balloon and green and purple balloons.
Guests attending the ILF Scotland Transition Fund event at Glasgow Science Centre on 30 November. From left: Fund recipient Eireann McCauley; ILF Scotland Chief Executive Peter Scott OBE; ILF Scotland Chair Susan-Douglas Scott CBE; Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, Maree Todd MSP; and Fund recipient Andrew Batchelor. Picture by Robert Perry.

Image gallery

See more pictures from the 30 November celebration at Glasgow Science Centre here.

Notes to editors

ILF Scotland - - is a public body, governed by a Board of Directors, appointed by and accountable to Scottish Ministers.

ILF Scotland provides financial awards and grants to disabled people in Scotland and Northern Ireland to help them live independently and to participate in their communities.

Transition Fund

The ILF Scotland Transition Fund provides funding of up to £4,000, for up to one year, to support young people living with disabilities or Impairments (as defined in the Equality Act 2010) to improve their lives. This includes autism, learning difficulty, physical disability, mental health (e.g., anxiety or depression) or hearing or visual impairments.

The purpose of the Fund is to help young people, between the ages of 16 and 25 living with disabilities, who are at an important transitional stage in their lives, to participate in their communities.

Money from the ILF Scotland Transition Fund can be used to help young people participate in activities, in their communities, that they may not have been able to take part in previously that will also help them to become independent and continue to spend time with other people.

ILF Scotland funding can be used for things like:

  • art or music lessons
  • a device or piece of technology to help young people with their impairment
  • joining a class and/or club
  • travel training
  • driving lessons, and training courses

To be eligible for the ILF Scotland Transition Fund applicants must:

  • be between the age of 15 and 25 years old (if they apply at 15, they won’t receive the money until they turn 16 and if they are 25, applications must be made before their 26th birthday)
  • have lived in Scotland for the last 6 months
  • have an impairment or disability (as defined in the Equality Act 2010)
  • have less than £29,750 of personal savings

Note: People who have little or no formal support from Social Work Services or through Self Directed Support will get priority.

Media enquiries

Contact our Communications Team at ILF Scotland. Numbers and contact details are listed on our press page.

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