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Chance to win £500 | Pounds for Purpose launched!

  • Firsport launches new Pounds for Purpose competition
  • Applications open until end of year
  • Award of £500

Young people are being encouraged to try out ideas that make a difference in the world around them by applying to Pounds for Purpose, a new programme launched today by social enterprise agency Firstport.

Pounds for Purpose offers grants of £500 as well as guidance and support to young people aged 16-26 to try out ideas that have a positive impact on people and the environment. From making life fairer for those who experience disadvantage; finding better ways to care for the more vulnerable members of society; or making the world greener and more sustainable, Pounds for Purpose hopes to inspire the next generation of change makers to take action in the issues they care about.

Firstport already supports a number of young people who are turning their interests and hobbies into ideas that make a difference.

24-year-old Lily Asch's journey started when she gave a TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh talk sharing her experience with mental illness as a young person. She realised how powerful it was to share her experience, but she was also amazed by how it opened the floor for others to share their own insights with her. That's how her idea started to develop.

She was awarded £500 seed funding as part of Firstport's Community Ideas Fund in 2017, to help set up Real Talk's website. Real Talk is a mental health storytelling social enterprise that runs community storytelling evenings, where real stories about mental ill health are told by real people to an open audience. To date, Real Talk has run 12 events that have seen 44 speakers share to over 450 audience members.

Lily said: "Running Real Talk has been transformative, personally, professionally, and also in the community. I've used storytelling and creative practice to empower personal stories and spark meaningful conversations about mental health. The feedback has been great, we once were told "keep this event going, it saves lives," and we definitely don't intend on stopping soon."

Firstport chief executive Josiah Lockhart said: "Weare excited about Pounds for Purpose and the potential it has to empower youngpeople to take action to test and start their idea, however big or small, toaddress the social or environmental issues that matters to them.

We are seeing more young people coming through our doors interested in setting up businesses that are driven by purpose, rather than the pursuit of profit alone.Pounds for Purpose gives us a platform to connect with young people who may not necessarily be ready to set up a social enterprise, but who are nevertheless interested in improving the world around them and are prepared to give their idea a go."

Anyone interested in finding out more about Pounds for Purpose and applying can visit www.firstport.org.uk/poundsforpurpose .For more information about Real Talk, visit www.realtalkproject.org

For more information, contact Maria Ashley maria@firstport.org.ukor Jess Gray jess@firstport.org.uk, 0131 558 2724.