As a school Charleston Academy supports various local and national charities through our school fundraising. During our Christmas House Assemblies in the last week of term our House Captains were joined by David Donaldson from the Salvation Army to reflect on the theme of Giving at Christmas. During 2014 the school has raised over £5,000 for various charities. These include Sport Relief, Children in Need, MacMillan Cancer, Jeans for Genes, Movember Men’s Health, as well as our own Connecting Classrooms charitable exchange with Botswana.
Additionally, this year we have been running the Youth Philanthropy Initiative through our S4 Core RMPS classes. YPI is an international initiative designed to support young people in developing community awareness. Students are taught about philanthropy and charity through an experience of giving that highlights the positive impact they can have on their community. Students work in teams to research the needs of their community and identify a local charity they believe is best placed to make a positive change.
Students will use their research to make presentations on the reasons that their chosen charity is most deserving of support. The team judged to have made the most compelling presentation will be given a £3,000 YPI Grant to award to their charity.
During this process, students develop skills in research, analysis, presentation, and communication, which all contribute to a student’s growth and confidence.
In this first year of YPI at Charleston judging took place on Tuesday 16 December in front of all S3 pupils. The finalists faced a panel of eight judges. The winners were HUG (Highland Users Group) and winner of the £3000 awards from the Wood Family Trust. SiMBA won second prize of £150 and Cantbaybridge College won 3rd prize of £100. 2nd and 3rd prizes were donated by Charleston Academy Parent Council.
Morvern Carmichael (3S2) and, Riosin MacDougall (3S2) members of the winning team said:
“HUG is a charity which works to improve the care and facilities for Mental Health Patients in the Highlands and Islands. We have learned so much over the past few months because of the YPI programme. We believe mental health is an issue that should be addressed more openly, both in school and in the wider community. HUG battle to prevent stigma against mental health issues which affect one in four of the population, both young and old. HUG seeks to educate and inform people about mental health and how it affects people.”
We are excited to be one of the schools across Scotland to be participating in YPI and hope that you agree this is a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to take part in this exciting initiative.
Mrs Carol Mackenzie, Teacher of Religious, Moral, and Philosophical Studies