A team from Bo’ness Academy was one of three to secure funds for Screen Memories in the past two years.
Following a creative presentation which adopted a Silver Screen theme, the girls have continued to support the charity and even hosted an ‘Oscars’ style event to launch its new service.
Lucy, one of the Bo’ness pupils, which secured the £3000 grant in 2018/19, said:
“We all thought it was an amazing charity that supports a great cause as dementia is common illness that elderly people suffer with. I learnt how to work well under pressure in a team and was able to communicate well with each other in order to create a presentation on the charity. We also learnt how to present to an audience which boosted our confidence.”
Her teammate Abby added:
“Screen Memories is about helping people and we wanted to ensure we could really do the charity justice and help promote them was really important for us. Creating our presentations was enjoyable due to our interest and commitment to the charity.”
The cash injection has given the charity the opportunity to consider the groups of people who would benefit from their services. Michael White of the charity said:
“Movies offer a real opportunity for those living with dementia to access memories and feelings from their formative years. We can now diversify our offering to reflect cinema from different genres, cultures, and eras.
“A lot of the young people we speak to have experience of dementia in the family and like how we’re offering a pretty novel approach to supporting people.
“I have been hugely impressed by the maturity, creativity and commitment shown by these very young people who make a huge effort to make a difference to a small charity like ours.”
The girls’ understanding of dementia has influenced them beyond the YPI process. Emily said:
“Since working alongside Screen Memories for YPI it has allowed us to become more aware of the lack of attention for small charities especially for dementia and I have continued to share information on their offering.”
Bo’ness Academy has been recognised by Education Scotland as ‘excellent practice’. YPI Lead Teacher Rachael Weatherstone said:
“YPI gives pupils a real opportunity to develop skills for work and life, and allows us to keep connected to the local community in which we serve.
“The girls creatively took what the charity is about and turned their presentation into a real visual representation. It felt premier movie screening.
“No other curricular area or project we run enables young people to combine lots of necessarily skills such as communication, teamwork and organisation in this way to prepare them for life outside the classroom.”
Two years on from their YPI experience, Abbie from the team reflects on what she would advise those embarking on the programme in 2020/21. She said:
“My advice for younger pupils starting YPI would be to simply enjoy it. Research thoroughly to find a charity that you feel passionate about and the progress will become a lot easier. When planning your presentation be creative, think outside the box and this will make the experience so much more beneficial and fund. You will get out of this experience as much as you put in.”
Screen Memories also secured grants from Hamilton Grammar and Falkirk High School in 2019/20.