Cashback for Communities phase 6: island communities impact assessment

Island communities impact assessment for the CashBack for Communities programme.

CashBack for Communities Phase 6 : Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA)

1. Policy Objectives

CashBack for Communities (CashBack) is an established Scottish Government programme that takes money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and invests it into community programmes and activities.

The CashBack programme works with children, young people, families and communities across Scotland. While projects use the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) to help target delivery in areas affected by antisocial behaviour and crime, they also offer support based on individual need across all 32 local authority areas.

The CashBack programme commenced in 2008 with a focus on high participation, for example in physical and sporting activities. The programme has developed over time and has more recently taken a more targeted approach to delivering projects that divert young people away from involvement in antisocial behaviour, crime and involvement in the justice system.

Phase 5 of the programme ran from April 2020 to March 2023 with funding of £17.9 million distributed to organisations to deliver projects that:

  • supported people, families and communities most affected by crime;
  • supported those most at risk of being involved in antisocial behaviour, offending or reoffending into positive destinations; and
  • supported young people most at risk of entering the justice system.

The programme also supported activities which met the criteria above and provided intergenerational support for parents, families and children impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences.

2. Phase 6 – Policy Impacts and Outcomes

Up to £20 million has been committed to cover the overall costs for Phase 6 of the CashBack programme, which will run from April 2023 to March 2026 with a continued focus on diverting young people away from antisocial behaviour and crime. Projects will provide a range of activities and services for young people between the ages of 10 to 25 that:

  • Support people most at risk of being involved in antisocial behaviour, offending or reoffending towards or into positive destinations (training; further education; employment and volunteering).
  • Support young people, parents and families impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma.
  • Support young people to improve their health, mental health and wellbeing.
  • Support people, families and communities most affected by crime.

All Phase 6 projects will aim to achieve the following five mandatory outcomes:

1. Young people are diverted from antisocial, criminal behaviour and involvement with the justice system.

2. Young people participate in activity which improves their learning, employability and employment options (positive destinations).

3. Young people's health, mental health and wellbeing improves.

4. Young people contribute positively to their communities.

5. Young people build their personal skills, confidence and resilience; benefit from strengthened support networks and reduce risk taking behaviour.

The CashBack programme supports the achievement of the following National Outcomes as part of Scotland's National Performance Framework:

  • 'We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe.'
  • 'We grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential.'
  • 'We are creative and our vibrant and diverse cultures are expressed and enjoyed widely.'
  • 'We are well educated, skilled and able to take part in society.'
  • 'We are healthy and active.'
  • 'We tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally.'

The framework for Phase 6 aligns with the Scottish Government Vision for Justice in Scotland 2022, which was published on 8 February 2022. The criteria for the CashBack programme align most closely with the following key aims of the Vision:

  • We have a society in which people feel, and are, safer in their communities.
  • We work together to address the underlying causes of crime and support everyone to live full and healthy lives.

3. Data and Stakeholders

Our main stakeholders are:

  • Existing and potential CashBack participants.
  • Existing and potential CashBack funded organisations.
  • CashBack delivery partner (currently Inspiring Scotland).
  • Referral partners, such as local authorities or third sector organisations.

Phase 6 of the CashBack programme has a focus on supporting young people most at risk of becoming involved in, or with lived experience of, antisocial behaviour, crime and the justice system. This includes helping young people to deal with some of the underlying causes of antisocial behaviour and criminal activity.

The focus of the programme is linked to available evidence that indicates there is a large cross over with SIMD areas and areas hardest hit by antisocial behaviour, crime and serious organised crime. If an area is identified as 'deprived,' this can relate to people having a low income, but it can also mean fewer resources or opportunities. SIMD looks at the extent to which an area is deprived across seven domains: income, employment, education, health, access to services, crime and housing.

'The Scottish Picture of Antisocial Behaviour[1]' report, published in July 2020, found that area deprivation stands out as a factor associated with antisocial behaviour. For example, 12-year-olds living in the 20% most deprived areas, measured by the SIMD, were more likely than those in the 20% least deprived areas to have engaged in antisocial behaviour (36% compared with 25%).

Those living in more deprived areas, in socially rented housing, and in large urban areas, as well as younger people, are more likely to perceive antisocial behaviour issues in their area. Specific factors that potentially link to or drive antisocial behaviour include low-socio-economic status; lack of good facilities and social services; lack of appropriate youth facilities; opportunity to experience a sense of status, identity or social recognition and vulnerability and marginality (e.g., mental health issues, substance use, experiences of homelessness).

Whilst people who live in the most deprived areas are most likely to experience conditions that limit their opportunities in life, we recognise that SIMD has limitations for capturing deprivation across the whole of Scotland. It is an area-based measure of relative deprivation: not every person in a highly deprived area will themselves be experiencing high levels of deprivation.

The SIMD: Rural deprivation Evidence Summary[2] suggests that people living in rural areas experience deprivation differently from those living in towns and cities. Particular issues in rural areas include less accessible key services including education, healthcare, childcare, broadband and limited opportunities to earn adequate income compared to urban areas.

The shift to more targeted delivery with a justice outcome focus means that the programme may be more applicable to areas of high deprivation and areas most affected by crime. The SIMD for 2020[3] shows that none of the 15% most deprived zones are in the Orkney, Shetland or Eilean Siar islands although it is recognised that there are still some people on those islands living in deprivation.

The evaluation of Phase 4[4] of the CashBack programme showed that whilst 69% of 106,039 participants were from the most deprived communities, the programme engaged with vulnerable young people from other communities who also experienced inequality.

In the earlier phases of the CashBack programme when projects were less targeted and more about high participation, coverage in island communities was delivered mainly through YouthLink Scotland and Youth Scotland. Organisations such as the Scottish Football Association and Basketball Scotland also provided activities in key island hubs such as Kirkwall and Lerwick.

Although the programme has since developed to have more focus on areas most affected by crime, delivery in island communities has continued. Between 2008 and 2020, CashBack funding of £1.94 million enabled organisations to deliver activities for around 995,000 young people across the island local authority areas of Eilean Siar, Orkney and Shetland. Funding of £937,000 also supported projects in Argyll and Bute, which covered both mainland and island activities for 28,500 participants.

4. Policy Design

The application process for CashBack funding was open to organisations across Scotland who felt that they met the programme criteria. The programme runs in three-year cycles with the minimum grant award set at £150,000 over that period.

In recognition of the limitations of the SIMD as the only measure of deprivation, the CashBack application process did not specify what percentage of SIMD areas must be involved in CashBack projects. This allows organisations the flexibility to engage with young people, their families and communities based on individual need and circumstances.

When the Phase 6 fund opened up for applications in June 2022, promotional activity was stepped up across Scottish Government, stakeholder networks and local authority areas. This resulted in an increase in application numbers to 157 (from 73 in Phase 5), including 15 proposals for projects covering island community local authority areas. Funds were allocated to the 29 partner organisations who were assessed as being the candidates with the strongest project proposals rather than on a geographical basis.

Projects operating in island communities will deliver activities that are aligned to those offered by mainland projects and that reflect the needs of the individual participant. The range of support offered through CashBack is diverse and includes:

  • Confidence building; resilience; teamwork; developing personal and social skills; evaluation of risk-taking behaviours and the impact these can have on the individual young person and their community;
  • Financial support to help disadvantaged young people overcome barriers to work, education or training;
  • Improving educational and employability skills and developing pathways into further learning and work;
  • Providing opportunities to participate in arts and cultural activities; and
  • Developing leadership skills and opportunities for volunteering in local communities.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the ability of organisations to deliver projects. Social distancing restrictions in particular prevented the delivery of in person activities and support. CashBack partners took steps to develop online delivery and support for young people. In some cases, this involved the provision of equipment and development of skills to enable young people to participate in a safe digital environment. Results from the Scottish National Islands Plan Survey (2020)[5] showed that the majority of respondents now felt that their internet connection was reliable and fast enough to be able to do what they want to online. This means that the benefits of the programme can still be delivered even if face to face delivery is not an option.

5. Consultation

The independent evaluation process for the CashBack programme has involved consultation with all the organisations that have delivered projects, including those in the island communities. Feedback has also been gathered from young people who participated in the programme and in some cases their families, parents and schools.

The evaluations of previous phases of the CashBack programme have not indicated any differences in outcomes in relation to island communities. Phase 6 builds on the strengths of previous phases. Based on the findings of the evaluation and case studies of CashBack participants in island communities we do not consider that further consultation is currently required.

6. Assessment

Case studies of projects based on mainland and island communities demonstrate that the positive outcomes in terms of building confidence and skills, changing behaviours, reducing isolation and increasing participation are common to young people regardless of geographical location.

The full breakdown of data on CashBack funded delivery in island communities, participant numbers and outcomes is not yet available for Phase 5. However interim data for the first two years of the phase show that seven organisations allocated CashBack funding totalling around £130,000 to deliver projects to around 2,500 young people in island community areas.

Although the geographical reach of the Phase 6 programme is constrained by the applications that were submitted and successfully made it through the assessment process, Phase 6 will continue to support island communities. Eleven organisations were selected to receive funding having indicated that their projects will include benefits for island communities in Argyll and Bute, Eilean Siar, Orkney and Shetland. Some projects also plan to reach out to young people from Arran and Cumbrae as part of their work in the North Ayrshire Council area. Depending on the specific project and participant circumstances, there will be opportunities for young people to engage in activities delivered on the mainland, virtually or face to face in their island community. In some cases, additional financial support may be available to improve access to projects on the mainland.

The five mandatory outcomes apply to all projects in the CashBack programme, including those in island communities. The programme aims and outcomes are compatible with the National Islands Plan, for example, by helping to improve the health and wellbeing of young people and providing opportunities to develop their resilience, aspirations and transferable skill sets to enable them to thrive.

As Phase 6 only commenced in April 2023, further information on delivery in specific island communities will become available as project delivery progresses. Some indicative examples of the benefits from CashBack projects delivered in island communities during Phase 5 include:

  • Provided after school clubs, book clubs, art and creative activities, sports and Gaelic language activities in Bragar (Isle of Lewis).
  • Group work and targeted interventions with young people in Lewis and Harris. Supporting one community to establish a small youth club and a series of smaller sessions with young people affected by substance misuse or who were impacted by social isolation.
  • Delivered extra-curricular youth work programmes in Yell (Shetland Isles)

The need for analysis of the impact of the CashBack programme on young people in island communities and any barriers to participation has been added to the evaluation requirements for Phase 5 (due Autumn 2023). Recommendations from the evaluation will be analysed to identify potential improvements to the CashBack programme going forward.

In conclusion, we are satisfied that the intended outcomes and benefits of Phase 6 of the CashBack for Communities programme apply across all projects, whether delivered in island or mainland communities in Scotland.

In preparing the ICIA, I have formed an opinion that our policy, strategy or service is NOT likely to have an effect on an island community which is significantly different from its effect on other communities (including other island communities).

The duties to consider island communities have been met and a full Island Communities Impact Assessment is not currently required under Section 8 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.

7. ICIA Declaration

Screening ICIA completed by: Denise Hughes
Position: CashBack for Communities Policy Officer
Signature and date: Denise Hughes 05/06/2023

ICIA authorised by: Mo Rooney
Position: Deputy Director, Safer Communities
Signature and date: Mo Rooney 07/06/2023



Back to top