Rothesay Academy pupils help charity while also gaining confidence

Rothesay Academy pupils Kiera Rutherford and Abbie Cameron with the prize for Apple Tree Nursery.
Rothesay Academy pupils Kiera Rutherford and Abbie Cameron with the prize for Apple Tree Nursery.

On May 9 at Rothesay Academy, S3 pupils took part in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) programme.

YPI is an active citizenship programme that raises awareness amongst young people about philanthropy and their local community.

Each participating school, each year, is responsible for directing a £3000 YPI grant to a local charity through a unique programme of teamwork, research and competition.

YPI is described as encouraging “creativity and passion, leaving the four walls of the classroom behind, and supporting the issues young people care most about,” and this is exactly what S3 pupils at Rothesay Academy achieved.

For one lucky charity, the £3000 will be life changing for all those who are involved in the charity and the pupils taking part learn more about life outside of school.

To win the £3000, pupils had to present a persuasive presentation in front of a panel of judges and S1-3 pupils. The judging panel this year consisted of headteacher Mrs Louise Nicol, Councillor Jean Moffat and Craig Baxter (Fyne Homes), and they had a very difficult task of picking the winner!

This year’s lucky charity was Apple Tree Nursery, and the S3 pupils presenting for it were Kiera Rutherford and Abbie Cameron. Well done to all those taking part and congratulations to the runner ups and their charities who got through to the final: Calum’s Cabin, Branching Out, Bute Youth Forum and Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis.

Apple Tree Nursery representatives, Kiera Rutherford and Abbie Cameron, said they chose this charity because “the nursery is important to the community and by helping them we would be helping everyone. It provides excellent childcare and work for adults. It gives children the best start to their future”.

They also added their views on YPI and whether they would continue: “We both would it if it was up to us, because it’s good to be able to give a local charity money and give us an opportunity to have healthy competition as well as helping a charity out.

“It definitely helps build confidence and has improved ours since doing the presentation in front of our school and the YPI judges.”

Mrs Nicol, headteacher and member of the judging panel, commented: “YPI has been a really enriching experience for our pupils.

“As a school, it has helped us to create meaningful links with local charities.

“This is certainly something we hope to develop over many years to come.”

This year was the first year that Rothesay Academy took part in the programme and it definitely won’t be the last.

Scotland has introduced YPI to schools as it improves confidence and team building as well as, of course, helping a charity out.

Over 250 schools have been a part of the YPI process and have given out £765,000 between this year and last, to a wide range of charities which have helped improve resources and allows them to be able to help so many more people.

A big part of what YPI do is to help young people. Allowing them to do this enables them to have a wider range of knowledge about those in need and encourages them to be confident.

This experience will help them in the future as it improves many skills.