The winning team at Bishopbriggs Academy with Maddie from Cathleen’s Cabin

This is the first blog post to be written by one of our recipient charities but we’re hoping that it will be the first of many.  We are very keen to understand charities’ experiences of working with YPI groups; how we can better support charities to engage with YPI; and the collective social impact associated with the programme.

Cathleen’s Cabin is a small, Scottish charity that provides short respite breaks for families who are experiencing trauma and bereavement.  The charity’s namesake is a three bedroom static caravan situated in the beautiful surroundings of Dunoon and the charity was set up in memory of founder, Marjorie (Maddie) McCance’s mum, Cathleen. Cathleen’s Cabin is aware that families experiencing ill health, convalescence or bereavement are often affected by economic hardship and this can make getting away on holiday extremely difficult.  Many visitors are referred through Rachel House Children’s Hospice in Kinross and Robin House Children’s Hospice in Balloch but they also take referrals from other sources.

Maddie was first introduced to YPI when two groups of girls from Lenzie Academy in East Dunbartonshire contacted her and represented Cathleen’s Cabin in their final.  On Monday 5th December, a group of boys from Bishopbriggs Academy won their school’s £3000 YPI Grant on behalf of Cathleen’s Cabin.  Maddie has generously shared her experience of YPI with us.

Maddie’s Experience of YPI

 ‘I have had one of the best afternoons of my life! Last year two great teams from Lenzie Academy tried to win £3000 for Cathleen’s Cabin through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative.  Both teams did a marvellous job and because of their efforts I met two charities who could nominate folk to come to Cathleen’s Cabin and 32 people got a holiday this year because of these teams. This year I have been contacted by teams from Bishopbriggs, Boclair and Kilsyth Academies and Kirkintilloch High.  Thanks to the teams at Lenzie Academy, I understood YPI and what was needed to help teams prepare their project and found ways of meeting up with these four new schools.  A million thank yous.

I met four young men at Bishopbriggs Academy who got through to their school’s YPI Final – Thomas, Ross, Ross and Ross.  What awesome, confident young men!  One of the Rosses took himself off to Dunoon one Saturday, unbeknown to me, and was amazed at the tranquillity of Dunoon and its views as well as the fantastic facilities at Hunter’s Quay Holiday Village.  He experienced what so many families have said about the peace they find during their stay.

The five other teams spoke about some really amazing charities and two touched my heart greatly.  I have now spoken to both of them and we will be offering holidays to them next year. So, just like last year at Lenzie Academy where I was introduced to two other amazing charities, we will be able to help even more people create happy memories or find peace to cope with a bereavement.  A big thank you to all the teams for letting me know about these fantastic charities.

What happened next was that these four amazing, caring young men gave such an impassioned talk that they won the £3000 grant which they presented to me for Cathleen’s Cabin.

I thought that my usual old tomato face would explode into tomato puree! I was so happy and wee bit embarrassed about the beautiful comments they said about me. I was also overwhelmed by their understanding of what Cathleen’s Cabin stands for. My wee mammy in heaven would be so proud of you gentlemen.

‘To me personally I feel like I have won the lottery because these young people have already gained a magnificent start in life by understanding what genuine philanthropy is and wholeheartedly wanting to help others with their time and energy.  The money to me is secondary.’

Maddie McCance

Thank you, Ross, Ross, Ross and Thomas.  You should be so proud of your presentation and your parents and school have every right to be so proud of how amazing you all are.

It has been a pleasure to meet all these school pupils who genuinely want to help people their own age have a holiday to help them cope with their illnesses and trauma.

To me personally I feel like I have won the lottery because these young people have already gained a magnificent start in life by understanding what genuine philanthropy is and wholeheartedly wanting to help others with their time and energy.  The money to me is secondary.

A big thank you to the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative not only for donating this prize money but for encouraging our young adults to learn and understand the holistic benefits of true philanthropy which sees and acts from the heart. You have encouraged so many amazing young adults to open their hearts. Thank you!

Written by Maddie McCance