EU case studies
The Prince's Trust
The European Social Fund (ESF) has supported several Prince’s Trust projects over the last seven years. One project in particular, ‘Addressing Disadvantage Through Team’, has been instrumental in providing support for young people to overcome challenges and achieve their ambitions – whether that is due to lack of education or training, or simply a lack of confidence and motivation. With over 4,000 young people receiving support since 2008, the project was extended in 2011.
Simon, 19, from Peterhead, struggled at school. He was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, fell in with the wrong crowd and got into trouble for fighting in and out of school. By 15, he had criminal convictions for various offences including assault, theft and possession of a knife. He said: “I had no motivation, no education, no job - everything around me pointed to failure. I thought I had no hope.”
Simon’s criminal justice social worker referred him to Team, a Prince’s Trust programme improving employment prospects for unemployed young people. After graduating from Team, Simon volunteered to work on the next programme, secured an apprenticeship at a logistics firm, and has been in full-time employment for over a year. He said: “The Prince’s Trust showed me my choices. They opened a door to so many different opportunities, I realised my life could be whatever I made it. Without their support I’d probably be in jail or not even here anymore. Instead I feel great and have a lot going for me.”
West Whitlawburn Housing Cooperative, South Lanarkshire
Whitlawburn is one of the most deprived parts of Scotland. Using £2.3 million from the European Regional Development Fund, the tenant-operated West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative developed a Community Energy project to address fuel poverty, a major issue for residents.
The project has allowed local people to set up and run a scheme to directly improve their quality of life. With a new energy centre providing domestic heat and hot water to 543 local households, the properties have been converted from electrical storage and panel heating systems to low carbon renewable heating, providing tenants with lower heating bills, improved heating control and reduced levels of fuel poverty.
Tenants are now benefitting from an average reduction in heat and hot water costs of 20%. The project is also making a significant contribution to targets for reducing carbon emission and is forecast to provide lifetime carbon savings of 48,600 tonnes of CO2 , equivalent to saving 2,500 tonnes of carbon per annum.