IT once lined the pockets of unsavoury characters.

Now money seized from criminals is now being used to improve the lives of children from many deprived areas in the Scottish Borders.

The latest round of funding from YouthLink Scotland has awarded over £12,800 of CashBack funding to five local youth work organisations to deliver a wide range of projects.

Scottish Borders Council, Tweeddale Youth Action, TD1 Youth Hub, Rowland’s Selkirk and the SBC Community Learning & Developing department will all benefit from the cash.

Douglas Ormiston, Manager of the TD1, highlighted the impact the money will make – describing it as ‘life-changing’.

He said: “We are really pleased with our CashBack for Communities grant for the next year.

"CashBack funding has allowed us to provide life changing opportunities for young people and this new grant will continue to support us to give young people the best possible opportunities to shape their own futures and make a positive impact in their lives."

For TD1, the Galashiels-based organisation will put the money towards projects that develop personal skills for youngsters, such as social interactions, communication and patience, all in partnership with the local authority and the Fire Department

Douglas added: “Our partnership with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Community Learning and Development, have seen young people get the chance to learn alongside fire fighters in their community, and gain valuable life skills, such as working in a team, good communication and problem solving.”

TD1 were awarded £2,395, while Rowland's Selkirk received £3,000.

Scottish Borders Council has been given £2,310 towards projects, the local authority's CLD department was granted £1,979, and Tweeddale Youth Action will benefit from £3,179.

Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland, Jim Sweeney, echoed Mr Ormiston’s words, believing the work of the local organisations will provide a ‘positive path’ for young people.

He explained: “The role of great youth work in broadening young people’s horizons should never be underestimated.

"It is often through the power of creative experiences that young people realise there is a positive path in life and they can achieve their ambitions despite difficult circumstances they may face.

“CashBack is an investment in the next generation and a mark of a society that values all its young people.”