Pupils from Boclair Academy secured vital funds for a charity set up in memory of a local girl, Emma Cameron, who passed away from bone cancer nine years ago.
The team was one of three from schools in the region to win their schools’ YPI grants in aid of the Foundation in the 2019/20 academic year. The funds will be used for its education initiative which offers tutoring and other support for those who have missed key periods of school because of cancer.
Alan Cameron, Emma’s father who set up the charity in memory of his brave and vivacious daughter, said:
“Over the years we have funded a wide variety of organisations relating to children’s cancer services. The educational initiative is something I am particularly proud of and keen to develop. Families’ lives are often put on hold during cancer treatment and whatever can be done to keep school on track, at the right level, can be very beneficial in terms of education and social development.
“The YPI funding will make a real difference to the services we can offer. It was great to meet and discuss the charity with the pupils and see their passionate presentations. They were very impressive. Their determination is motivating.
“From securing one YPI grant in the past, to three this year shows that awareness for our charity is growing among young people and that is really important and welcome, not just from a funding perspective.”
Emily Montgomery formed part of the team that secured the grant. She said:
“I wanted to represent the Emma Cameron Foundation because Emma went to the same primary school as me. I knew Emma and her family and so felt quite a personal link to the charity. I was also aware of the amazing work the charity does in supporting children with cancer and their families as I had been involved in fundraising for the foundation through my primary school and Girls Brigade.
“Knowing Emma was only a few years younger than me when she died made representing the charity even more important to me and made me more determined to win the grant for the charity. If Emma had lived just a few more months she would have attended Boclair Academy, the school I’m a pupil at myself. That made the cause feel a lot closer to home.”
Emily’s experience of YPI helped her and her team grow in confidence and develop skills. She now wants to continue her philanthropy. She added:
“I found the YPI experience very rewarding and was surprised by how invested I became in it as the time went on. We definitely grew as a team throughout the process and I think we all surprised each other with how much more confident we were by the end of the competition.
“I learned how to make and edit a video which I had never done before. I found the process really interesting. As a result of taking part in the competition l now find the prospect of public speaking much less daunting, which I’m very thankful for.
“I had mixed feelings on reaching the final of the competition. On one hand I really wanted to win the grant for the Emma Cameron Foundation and so was very excited when we got through. On the other hand, part of me was dreading doing our presentation in front of an assembly, so I was very nervous. Winning the final was an amazing feeling. I felt really proud of our group for winning and I felt extremely happy that the charity would be receiving the grant.
“I really feel like I can make a difference now and that opportunities like YPI mean that it isn’t only adults with lots of money who can make big changes for charities. I will definitely continue to support charities in the future.”
Drumchapel and Kirkintilloch Academies also secured grants for the Emma Cameron Foundation in the 2019/20 academic year.