The Distillers’ Charity launches Youth Action Fund

The Distillers’ Charity launches Youth Action Fund

Initial £2.5 million raised by Scotch whisky industry will support youth charities across Scotland

News | 08 Mar 2022

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An ambitious new charity initiative has today (8 March 2022) been launched by the Scotch whisky industry in support of youth charities across Scotland. Founded by The Distillers’ Charity, the Youth Action Fund has been set up to distribute an initial £2.5 million, raised at the inaugural ‘Distillers’ One of One' auction in December last year. The auction, organised in collaboration with Sotheby’s, saw producers from across the Scotch whisky industry come together to donate one-of-a-kind bottles for auction.

To ensure the funds create real impact, The Distillers’ Charity has commissioned experienced charity and consultancy Inspiring Scotland to co-design and manage the Youth Action Fund programme of charity partners, which aims to empower young people with real opportunities in training, education and beyond. There will be a particular focus on helping the disproportionate number of young people adversely affected by the Covid pandemic.

Four initial charity partners with a diverse range of focuses have been selected: Aberdeen Foyer, ENABLE Scotland, Street League, and the Alcohol Education Trust.

At a gathering of the charities, donors and industry members in Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience yesterday evening (7 March 2022) to launch the Youth Action Fund, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, John Swinney, sent a video message in support of the project, saying, “I’d like to congratulate The Distillers’ Charity along with Inspiring Scotland and everyone else involved in what has already been a tremendous achievement. The success of the auction in December and the money raised is a fantastic feat, way beyond the expectations of everyone involved in this venture.

“Raising £2.5 million, distributed through the Youth Action Fund’s charity partners with the support of Inspiring Scotland, will help make a positive and lasting difference to individuals who face challenges in reaching their full potential. The amount raised is reflective of the generosity and the collaborative effort of companies big and small across the Scotch Whisky industry, who have all come together to support our young people.”

Chair of the Distillers’ Charity, Grant Gordon, added, “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. We are very proud of the collective endeavour of our industry and of what we are achieving together with this new fund.”

Speaking on behalf of Inspiring Scotland, chief executive, Celia Tennant, commented, “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 eight to 10 per cent 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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