BUSINESS leaders in Scotland are being asked to each donate £1000 to help young people across the country transform their lives.

Lunch with an Old Bag (LWOB), which is the Prince’s Trust’s biggest fundraiser outside of London, is seeking 100 Scots firms to pledge and directly support 100 youngsters to get into work, education, enterprise or training.

The initiative was announced on Thursday in Edinburgh by James Thomson and the LWOB committee.

LWOB chair Fiona Donaldson said: “In a society obsessed with staying youthful, women over 40 are often inappropriately perceived as ‘old bags’, as ‘over the hill’ or ‘past it’, in much the same way as disadvantaged young people are often wrongly labelled as ‘time-wasters’ or ‘no-hopers’.

“That’s why James Thomson founded Lunch with an Old Bag in 2009, to challenge negative stereotypes, shine a light on the issues faced by young people in Scotland, and help The Prince’s Trust Scotland to transform young lives.”

The 10th Prince’s Trust eBay Youth Index revealed that 70% of 16 to 25 year olds in the UK feel anxious about their future due to the current economic climate and more than half (54%) are concerned they will never be financially stable and able to plan ahead.

Donaldson said the trust “has a duty to help young people” and can do so by working with businesses and the Government.

She continued: “Together, we can assist young people back into education and, from there, onto the job market. We can nurture skills which are vital to the economic future of the country, and our programmes can equip all Prince’s Trust young people with the skills needed for a variety of trades and employment sectors.”

Thursday’s event marked the launch of the 2019 LWOB, an annual ladies’ lunch which last year raised over £1m for the Prince’s Trust Scotland in one afternoon.

Since 2009, LWOB has raised more than £4.77m and helped some 4700 young Scots.

The event is invitation only and has had entertainment from Lulu, Bryan Ferry and Sister Sledge.

Thomson, who is also a member of The Prince’s Trust Scotland Council, and has sponsored the event since 2009, commented: “The Prince’s Trust Scotland believes that every young person should have the chance to succeed, and is committed to empowering young people, by developing the skills and coping mechanisms they need to thrive in work, education and training.

“With the right support and understanding, this generation of young people, who face challenges which simply couldn’t have been imagined when LWOB was launched in 2009, will fulfil their potential.”

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