The Young Start programme has awarded £72,360 to a Whiteinch-based charity, ensuring more youngsters benefit from their tailored activities over the next three years.

The fund to Movement Park is a part of more than £1.5 million awarded to 19 organisations across Scotland helping young people achieve their potential.

Young Start, delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund, grants dormant bank account funds to youth projects.

Ben Wilkinson, 24, started volunteering with Movement Park when he was 18 and had just finished high school before becoming a full-time coach.

He said: "Without school or a job, I started looking for productive ways to spend my summer and found out that Movement Park needed volunteers.

"I went along and pretty much instantly loved it.

“I love my job because I get to help influence a whole new generation of people in a sport that I'm passionate about as well as I love helping them understand what they're capable of and showing them that there's so much they can do if they trust in themselves.

“Some of the kids come from quite difficult backgrounds and areas of deprivation, so seeing the benefits, not only in physical fitness but in overall confidence and self-esteem from joining the sessions is awesome.”

He revealed that with Young Start's funding support, the charity can collaborate with schools and community centres and offer free sports taster sessions to youngsters.

Ben added: "I’ve seen what a difference the opportunity to do urban sports can make to so many kids so it feels fantastic to be able to open up that world for more young people in our community.”

Kate Still, Scotland chair of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to continue funding such a broad range of vital projects for young people all over Scotland. Young people like Ben sharing their stories reminds us how important these groups are, and how many young lives are improved by Young Start funding. 

“We are always keen to support projects that put Scotland’s young people at the heart of the development and running of services. If your group has an idea how you would make this happen, then we’d love to hear from you.”

Funding of up to £100,000 is available for youth-led projects.

Groups can apply by emailing or calling 0300 123 7110.