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Media Release
22 January 2015

New investment plans to transform lives in Scotland

The Life Changes Trust charity was established with a £50 million endowment by the Big Lottery Fund to invest in ways which will transform the lives of people affected by dementia and care experienced young people.

Today the Trust publishes its Business Strategy, which sets out the Trust’s investment approach to achieve this aim.

Maddy Halliday, CEO of the Life Changes Trust said,

“The two groups of people the Trust will work with and support face significant challenges, including poor physical, mental and social well-being. They often experience stigma, loss and isolation and many do not receive the support and care they acutely need and are entitled to.

"The Trust’s vision is for a Scotland where all care experienced young people and people affected by dementia are valued as full and equal citizens, able to live good quality lives and receive the right support when they need it – now and into the future.

"Our strategy sets out the Trust’s top level plans for achieving our mission and has been developed in liaison with care experienced young people and people affected by dementia and a wide range of interested organisations.”

The funding, investment and support the Life Changes Trust will provide has never been more critical. In Scotland:

• It is estimated that around 88,000 people have dementia and, based on current prevalence rates, that number is projected to double by 2038*.
• Those who care for people with dementia are often unpaid and disproportionately suffer from extreme stress, mental health issues and experience isolation
• Dementia costs the country more than cancer, heart disease and stroke put together


Our investment priorities for dementia include:

• empowering people with dementia and their carers to have a stronger voice on what matters to them
• improving social support and inclusion of people with dementia and their carers through the development of ‘dementia friendly communities’
• improving access to befriending and peer support to combat isolation and help people affected by dementia to get the support they need when they need it

In Scotland, there are more than 16,000 children and young people who are “looked after”, as their parents are either not able to do so or need help. Often they leave care abruptly at a young age, with no life skills and no network of support. As a result:

• Care experienced young people have higher rates of suicide and reduced life expectancy compared to that of their peers
• Many care experienced young people are homeless
• 45% of young offenders have a history of being looked after

Our investment priorities for care experienced young people include:
• empowering young people to have a say in their own futures
• peer support and mentoring to improve young people’s education and employment
• supporting the development of local ‘Champion Boards’ which bring young people and care providers together to improve services and quality of life for all care experienced young people


Chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee, Maureen McGinn said,

“The Big Lottery Fund invested £50 million in the Life Changes Trust because we believe it is possible to improve significantly the support given to care experienced young people and people affected by dementia. This strategy sets out the scale of that challenge as well as the opportunity for positive change with people at its heart. We look forward to seeing the impact of the Trust's work in delivering this strategy.”

The full Business Strategy and Executive Summary are published on the Trust’s website:

Life Changes Trust Website

ENDS

For further information and for press enquiries contact the Life Changes Trust: Deborah Cowan on 0141 212 9606 or deborah.cowan@lifechangestrust.org.uk


EDITORS NOTES:

The Life Changes Trust was established by the Big Lottery Fund in April 2013 with a ten year National Lottery grant of £50 million to drive transformational improvements in the quality of life, well-being, empowerment and inclusion of people affected by dementia and young people with experience of being in care.

*Based on current dementia prevalence rates, the number of people with dementia in Scotland is projected to double by 2038. However, while ageing is a major risk factor for dementia, there is growing evidence that an increase in protective factors such as healthy eating and regular physical exercise and reduction in risk factors such as alcohol and tobacco use, could reduce people’s risk of dementia, or delay the age at which they may develop it.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Life Changes Trust in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Health, Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.