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The Distillers' Charity launches Youth Action Fund

A new charity initiative spearheaded by the Scotch whisky industry has launched to benefit young people across Scotland.

The Youth Action Fund was founded by the Distillers' Charity - the charitable arm of the Worshipful Company of Distillers - to ensure a long-term and sustainable impact on the lives of Scotland's young people.

It has been set up with an initial £2.5 million of funding, raised at the inaugural Distillers One of One Auction in December 2021. Organised by the Distillers' Charity in collaboration with the Scotch whisky industry, the event saw producers and other industry companies donate unique prizes for auction including bottles, casks and experiences.

The Distillers' Charity has commissioned Inspiring Scotland to co-design and manage the Youth Action Fund programme of charity partners, which are:

  • Aberdeen Foyer: Aberdeen Foyer supports at-risk young people to develop new skills, take up learning opportunities, maintain positive mental health and wellbeing and move into employment. 
  • ENABLE Scotland: Enable Scotland delivers a range of employment and skills support services across Scotland, helping people with disabilities or other challenges into employment. This includes the school transition programme, Stepping Up, which helps young people achieve accredited qualifications after leaving school. 
  • Street League: Street League helps young people get active, learn and take positive life decisions through sports, working in schools and communities with young people at risk of future unemployment to support them into training, education or high-quality jobs.
  • Alcohol Education Trust: Operating across the UK, the Alcohol Education Trust is an early-intervention charity supporting young people and educating them around the misuse and safe use of alcohol. 

The Youth Action Fund was launched at a gathering of charities, donors and industry members in Edinburgh's Scotch Whisky Experience. Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney sent a video message of support, in which he said: "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."

Grant Gordon, chairman of the Distillers' Charity, said: "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."

9 March 2022 - Bethany Whymark