Four "very different" projects across Scotland are to share more than £1.7m from the Big Lottery Fund.
The schemes, based in Fife, Edinburgh and Glasgow, focus on giving a "fuller role" to "some of the most overlooked people in our society".
Alison Magee, who chairs BIG Scotland, said it wanted to help people who might feel "excluded, alienated or isolated".
She said the grants would mean "people really do a have a greater chance to be all they can be".
In Fife, two projects share awards worth more than £1.2m.
West Fife Enterprise Limited, based in Newmills, works across former coalmining communities to support, help and advise people who are neither employed nor in education or training.
Chief executive Alan Boyle said the funds would help them to continue to support disadvantaged young people to "find their place in the modern workforce".
One person to benefit from the service already is Rebecca Vickers, 20, who is studying an applied science course at Carnegie College in Dunfermline.
"Working with the team here, little by little, I've begun to believe in myself and now I'm on course, if I work hard, to go onto Dundee University," she said.
"My dream job is to be a zoologist but there was a time when I couldn't ever believe that would happen."
The Princess Royal Trust Fife Carers Centre receives an award of £472,731 to continue its work with families.
It said it would help to meet a "rising demand for support and information".
In Glasgow, a grant of £193,000 means the St George's and St Peter's Community Association (SGSPCA) Daffodil Club can continue to expand.
It offers older people a place to meet and learn while also gaining information in terms of income and services available to them.
The final group to benefit is the Edinburgh-based Living Memory Association which has been awarded £372,314 for its "memory exchange" project.
It will work with older people using "reminiscence activity" to build confidence and self-esteem and help to keep minds active.