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Distillers’ Charity launches £2.5m Youth Action Fund

The Distillers’ Charity has launched the Youth Action Fund to distribute an initial £2.5 million (US$3.3m) that was raised during an auction last December.

Distillers Auction
L-R: Celia Tennant, CEO of Inspiring Scotland;
Chris Porter, master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers;
Grant Gordon, chair of the Distillers’ Charity

The charity initiative from the Scotch whisky industry launched yesterday (8 March).

The £2.5m funding was raised at the inaugural Distillers’ One of One Auction, organised in collaboration with Sotheby’s. Distillers from across Scotland donated one-of-a-kind bottles for the sale.

To ensure the money is used to create ‘real, sustainable and long-term impact’, the Distillers’ Charity has commissioned Inspiring Scotland to co-design and manage the Youth Action Fund programme of charity partners.

Grant Gordon, chair of the Distillers’ Charity, said: “The Distillers’ Charity is driven by a belief that every young person’s life matters, and a vision of a society in Scotland where young people can reach their full potential.

“Powered by the collective philanthropy of the Scotch whisky industry and their support of the biennial One of One auctions, the new Youth Action Fund will work with amazing charities to make a real difference to young people across the country, by offering education, vocational and other life-enhancing opportunities.”

Four initial charity partners have been chosen, which work to better communities across Scotland: Aberdeen Foyer, Enable Scotland, Street League, and The Alcohol Education Trust.

Celia Tennant, chief executive of Inspiring Scotland, added: “I believe that with the Youth Action Fund and this impressive sum we can achieve great things and deliver vital work where it is needed most, and we are very proud to be partnering with the Distillers’ Charity to deliver this.

“For over 13 years Inspiring Scotland has been working with the 8-10% of young people in Scotland who need help, due to the inequality of opportunity created by experiences of poverty and trauma.

“This equates to around 35,000 young people who are struggling today to succeed, and while we have all been adversely affected by the pandemic, the impact on this group has been more harshly felt. Unemployment has risen and vital schooling, socialisation and life experiences have been missed, and the queue of young people needing support is longer than ever.

“We’re committed to ensuring that the efforts of the Youth Action Fund will lead to a significant and demonstrable effect on the life chances of many young people in Scotland.”

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