Hundreds of deaf children and young people across Scotland will be able to play a fuller role within their families and communities, thanks to a huge £400,423 cash injection of Lottery funding.

The Big Lottery Fund today announces 60 new grants across Scotland totalling £17 million.

Amongst the groups is the British Deaf Association Scotland which is run and managed by deaf people. The organisation receives £400,423 to run a new project - Deaf Roots and Pride – for 450 children and young people aged between 8 and 20 years old in Glasgow, Falkirk and Edinburgh. This will provide deaf mentors who will support deaf children and young people to build confidence and increase their participation in school, social activities and within their families.

Avril Hepner, British Deaf Association Scotland Community & Development Manager said: “Our Deaf Roots & Pride project is aimed at Deaf children and young people between 8 and 20 years of age who are transitioning from primary to secondary education or from secondary to external environments.

“Following the passing of the first ever BSL legislation “BSL (Scotland) Act 2015” in the UK, this project will empower Deaf children and young people and expose them to a rich culture of Deaf identity and British Sign Language (BSL). It will help to show Deaf children and young people that there are endless possibilities through transition, mentoring and signposting, which will positively impact on their quality of life.”

Damian Barry, Director of Community Development and Operations, added: “It is timely that the Deaf Roots and Pride project will be starting in Scotland thanks to this Lottery funding. This now completes the UK Map with the same project happening in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It will mean Deaf children and young people in Scotland will now have access to opportunities that will positively impact on their lives.”

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “Today we are awarding over £17 million to 60 inspiring organisations doing all they can to support people across Scotland facing challenging circumstances. Some of this money will help families, schools and professionals to be more proactive in how they provide assistance and how they learn about issues affecting deaf children and young people. This award to the British Deaf Association Scotland will provide vital support for deaf children and I am delighted that Lottery money will help make this possible.”

Ends release.

Big Lottery Fund Press Office contact: Landa Sullivan
Telephone: 0141 242 1458
Twitter: @BIGSCOTLAND #biglottery

Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • The Big Lottery Fund Scotland is focussed on helping people and communities most in need throughout Scotland through its five-year £250m funding scheme as well as small grants schemes Awards for All and Investing in Ideas.
  • Since March 2007 Big Lottery Fund Scotland has taken devolved decisions on Lottery spending, the Committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn plays a strategic role in the future direction of the Fund in Scotland.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects across the UK that change the lives of millions of people. Every year we fund 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £35 billion has been raised and more than 490,000 grants awarded.
  • British Sign Language (Scotland) Act (2015) - British Deaf Association Scotland is a member of Deaf Sector Partnership which works with the Scottish Government on the implementation of the BSL (Scotland) act. This legislation aims are to raise awareness of BSL and improve access to services for those using the language.