A group of East End school pupils are celebrating after winning a competition aimed at promoting philanthropy amongst teenagers in Scotland.
The pupils, from Whitehill Secondary School, clinched £3,000 to support the work of Nil by Mouth as part of the nationwide Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) ran by the Wood Foundation.
The initiative engages a full year-group of students, developing skills and confidence by picking a charity to support, learning more about its aims and values and then working as a team to pitch to a panel of independent judges to secure the donation of the cash prize to their cause. The programme raises awareness of social issues and local charities and is a vital means of locally driven grant-making.
The group pitched their bid to support work being down to address sectarian attitudes in Glasgow and used group and individual presentations, research and poetry to convince the judges to award the money to Nil by Mouth.
Since YPI was introduced to Scotland in 2008 by The Wood Foundation, the programme has engaged more than 200,000 young people who have taken responsibility for securing £4.5m of charitable giving to a host of causes. YPI now stands as the biggest independent initiative being delivered within Scottish education.
Whitehill Secondary School Head Teacher Pauline Swan said: ‘We are very proud of the work of all the pupils who took part in this competition, and I am delighted that this group showed the right blend of imagination and evidence to clinch the prize for their chosen charity. The school greatly values our partnership with the Youth Philanthropy Initiative and through it we help promote the work and raise awareness of a host of charities to our pupils. There is an abundance of ability and potential here at Whitehill and its fantastic to see pupils achieve so much in this way.’
YPI Executive Chairman Sir Ian Wood said: ‘Working with youngsters and helping them to understand the important work charities do is a vital way of getting them involved in their communities and doing more throughout their lives. We hope these funds, and the awareness raised through this process, will support work being done for people in their community and beyond.’
Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott said: ‘Our charity was set up by a teenager and we have always believed that that young people will be the real drivers for change on this issue. The pupils did all of this themselves, using their own words, ideas and style. We were blown away when they got in touch to say they had won and its realty touching that they thought of us. They present a diverse, tolerant, funny and clever side to Glasgow that it’s a much truer reflection of our city than some of the scenes we have endured in recent months.