ILF Scotland has awarded £1.7 million to young people in Scotland through the Transition Fund.
Having received over 1,000 applications since the Transition Fund launch, ILF Scotland now aims to help even more young disabled people aged between 16 and 21 to improve their independence, confidence and participation within their communities.
Applicants are eligible for grants of up to £7,500, which can be used to fund new activities and experiences that will improve their transition from childhood into adulthood, such as joining a sporting club, learning to drive or buying equipment to start a new hobby.
Cait Kostka, who at 19, applied to the fund to help set up her own bakery business, explained: “Living with autism, I discovered a love of baking which hugely helped boost my confidence. I applied to the Transition Fund as I wanted to explore how I could turn my hobby into a career. The funding I received from ILF Scotland helped me to buy all of the baking equipment I needed to start my business, as well as enabling me to rent a kitchen space. I now regularly supply private customers and will soon be working with local coffee shops.”
ILF Scotland CEO, Peter Scott, said: “The life changing impact the Transition Fund has had on so many young people is testament to how much this type of funding is needed in Scotland. It’s incredible to see what a difference being able to try something new can make to a young person’s confidence and independence and ultimately, improve their lives.
“The transition between childhood and adulthood can be hugely challenging for young disabled people. The Transition Fund exists to help overcome such challenges.”
All young people aged between 16-21 living with a physical or mental impairment in Scotland are encouraged to apply. This includes people with autism, learning difficulties and physical disabilities, as well as those with mental health, hearing or visual impairments. Those aged 15 are also eligible to apply, with successful applicants receiving their funds when they turn 16.