Raploch Youth Project Turns Lives Around

Two months after receiving a million pounds from the Big Lottery Fund Capital's been to see how the cash has improved a project on the Raploch Estate in Stirling.

The Altered Lives and Big Adaptations (Alba) project supports vulnerable young adults trying to turn their lives around by offering work experience and the chance to gain recognised qualifications that could help them into jobs.

They are amongst six community-led groups across Scotland sharing in more than £3m from the Big Lottery Fund.

The Alba project, which brings together different agencies to offer young people support and expertise to build themselves a safe future, was awarded a grant totalling £973,632.

Project leaders told Capital the money means they are now able to work with their trainees for a longer period of time which enables them to fully support them all the way into a secure future.

Previously they had only had the budget to spend 3 months with each person meaning they could teach the basic skills but they couldn't ensure that person wouldn't return into unemployment, or into drugs or even criminal activity.

The project takes on young people from a wide range of backgrounds from university graduates who can't find work to ex-criminals trying to clean up their lives.

When Capital spoke to the project leaders we found out in one case a young man who had started on the ALBA programme had a criminal conviction and was facing a jail sentence. The courts decision was then lessened to probation and a tag after finding out the man had already made attempts to sort out his life and take positives step towards his future.

Whilst visiting the centre Capital also spoke to a few of the current trainees taken on since the project received the cash boost.

One girl told us being on the scheme had not only boosted her self-confidence but she had also been able to start work on the relevant qualifications she need to pursue her dream of a career in administration.

The 16 year old school leaver had tried to find work in this role but had been knocked back on several occasions due to lack of experience. Thanks to the ALBA project she is now studying and gaining invaluable work experience for the job she hopes to get.