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High school pupils in Ayrshire nailed down £3,000 grants for good causes

Secondary school students in Ayrshire have been praised for sourcing a vital funding boost of £57,000 to local charities.

The cash injection arose from students’ involvement in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

The schools committed to The Wood Foundation programme which sees young people work in teams to identify social issues impacting their communities and the charities addressing them.

They then develop creative presentations in a bid to secure their school’s £3,000 grant.

The top three social issues securing YPI funding this year were support for those facing health and ability conditions; services to address mental health and wellbeing and action to tackle poverty in Scotland’s communities.

The pupils came from the following Ayrshire schools: Doon Academy, Kilmarnock Academy, Loudoun Academy, St Joseph’s RC Academy, Stewarton Academy, Ardrossan Academy, Auchenharvie Academy, Greenwood Academy, Irvine Royal Academy, Kilwinning Academy, Largs Academy, St Matthew’s Academy, Belmont Academy, Carrick Academy, Girvan Academy, Kyle Academy, Prestwick Academy and Queen Margaret Academy.

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Some of the charities to benefit include The Zone, Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Centre, East Ayrshire’s Women’s Aid and Whiteley’s Retreat.

Ali MacLachlan, UK director at The Wood Foundation, said: “We are incredibly proud of the dedication and commitment shown by schools and students to ensure this important learning and funding opportunity continued with such vigour – despite all the challenges of the school year from Covid-19.

“Giving young people a platform and a voice to lead their learning and make a difference to the issues they saw first-hand locally took on additional significance in a year when so much autonomy was taken away.”

Nationally, 220 schools took part in the programme this year which meant a total of £660,000 going to charities.

Maxine Allan of Whiteley’s Retreat, who were one of the charity recipients, said: “Meeting the young is always so encouraging. Having pupils win the coveted £3,000 is, of course, an amazing achievement and allows us to continue our work with families.”

Kathryn Lindsay at Carrick Academy said: “I am so proud of all the students who took part in YPI this year and it has been great that they have been able to make a real difference for our local community.”

YPI is managed and majority funded by The Wood Foundation and supported by a network of likeminded funding partners. Locally, it is supported by QTS.

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