Funding aimed at increasing the activities available for poorer children and young people this summer has been allocated by the Scottish Government.
Up to £5m can be claimed by 18 selected organisations, ranging from mental health and family charities to sports bodies and art and cultural projects.
A further £15m has been allocated to Scotland’s 32 local authorities, with awards of between £53,000 for Shetland Islands Council to £2.25m for Glasgow.
The funding is designed to target children and adults up to the age of 25 who come from low-income backgrounds and could struggle to access activities and experiences over the summer, according to the Government.
Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Scotland’s children and young people have experienced significant disruption to all aspects of their lives as a result of Covid-19, including their wellbeing, education and social connections.
“They have told us that their mental health was a primary concern as a result of the pandemic and that they need a range of activity to help them reconnect with their peers and friends.
“We have listened and taken action. The £20m of funding will support children, young people, their families and carers to enjoy the summer.
“Through our partners – local authorities as well as our national organisations – the summer activity will focus on mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people whose lives have been impacted by Covid.”
Stephen McCabe, the children and young people’s spokesman at local authority body Cosla, said: “Over the past year children and young people have shown such resilience as the pandemic has limited many of the activities and support usually open to them.
“We are pleased that this additional funding will allow local authorities to build on their own regular summer programmes for children and young people and boost opportunities for those who have faced the greatest challenges due to Covid-19.
“Councils will provide a range of activities depending on local needs and guided by what children and young people themselves say will make a difference.”