A teenage athlete with cerebral palsy has welcomed more than £350,000 in funding towards mental health and wellbeing projects for young people across Tayside.
Wiktoria Mucha from Blairgowrie is a member of the Perth Strathtay Harriers, a club that work with charity Physical which was granted £66,000 from the National Lottery’s Young Start fund.
Physical will put the money towards its Positive Beginnings project which will give hundreds of young people from Perth and Kinross access to a number of opportunities including coaching and accredited courses over the next three years.
Wiktoria, 18, said: “I enjoy race-running as it improves your overall fitness and emotional well-being.
“I’m looking forward to taking part in Positive Beginnings as I think it will help me with my confidence by meeting other people and learning new skills.”
Jim Hunter, a trustee at Physical, said the funding would allow the charity to evolve the Positive Beginnings programme.
He said: “Young disabled people, like Wiktoria, will be at the centre of this process and involved throughout.
“It will help each young person develop lifelong skills and knowledge through the platform of sport and physical activity.
“This cash boost goes a long way to help us reach the financial target for this project.”
Strathmore Centre for Youth Development (SCYD) also received £90,000 to deliver a popular programme of youth engagement activities to young people aged 11 to 25 in Blairgowrie and surrounding areas.
Teresa Donaldson, business manager at SCYD, said: “This is hugely welcomed and a relief to SCYD in that it contributes to providing security and consistency of our youth work services for two years.
“This will allow us to continue as well as expand our existing support services for local young people who otherwise may not be able to take part in activities, sessions and community projects.”
In Dundee, the Speech Language Communication Company (SLCO) received £34,384 to deliver a weekly youth club for young people between 11 and 18 who have with speech, language and communication needs.
Arianna Patterson, executive director of SLCO, said the money would fund a further three years of the organisations youth club activities in Dundee.
Dundee Football Club in the Community Trust received £95,624 to help build the confidence, skills and future employment prospects of young people aged between 15 and 24.
Over two years, it will support 45 young people.
Greg Fenton, community manager at the club, said: “The Trust have guaranteed to employ some of the young people on full time and part time contracts from the programme for a full year, so they can give back to their community whilst transforming their lives and the lives of other young people.”
Dundee Carers Centre were awarded £81, 945 to develop its Young Carer ambassador programme which will provide more training and support across eight high schools in Dundee.
Sarah Boath, team manager for their carer support team, said: “Starting with two ambassadors in two secondary schools we now have over 20 ambassadors in all of the High Schools in Dundee.”