A team from Golspie High School secured £3000 for Caithness and Sutherland Women’s Aid (CASWA) through the school’s involvement in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).
S4 students Emily, Evie, Grace, Chelsi, Helen, Natalie, and Merryn worked together in school and remotely during lockdown closures to create a compelling digital animation video package which highlighted the work of the charity and the issue of abuse.
The video will now be used by the charity for promotional, awareness raising, and educational purposes creating a lasting legacy from the girls’ significant efforts. The funds secured will contribute to support for families impacted by domestic abuse including financial assistance, activities, and resources.
Emma Fraser from the charity said:
“The animation completely blew us away and brought our team members who attended the final very close to tears. The team had clearly researched our charity and the work that we do well and created an informative presentation and proposal which ultimately won them first place.
“Abuse can be a very stigmatised and difficult subject to talk about, but at CASWA we believe in the importance of shining a spotlight on difficult social issues so they do not remain hidden and further stigmatised.
“It is extremely important that awareness raising work around abuse is undertaken with young people as they begin to navigate the world of relationships themselves. Young people are exposed to a huge variety of sources of information from TV to internet and social media, such sources are not always helpful, informative, and sometimes can be potentially harmful. Young people must have access to appropriate and accessible information to help them develop sound understanding of healthy relationships, recognise signs of abusive behaviours, and increase their knowledge and awareness of the local specialised services which work within their communities.
“YPI gives them the opportunity to learn about charitable causes and their purposes in a very accessible way.”
Other charities represented at the school’s YPI Showcase were MFR Cash for Kids, Highland Hospice, and Mikeysline.
Clive Grewcock, Children Services Worker within Golspie High School, said:
“The girls worked incredibly hard on the creative product and their presentation. They really shone. The other students also did a great job and it wasn’t an easy decision for the judges. Being able to continue YPI this year despite all the difficulties facing us in school has been really rewarding and I am incredibly proud of the year group.”
The girls split the team into sections – research and presentation, and digital and creativity.
Grace was on the team. She said:
“Being 14, I know there’s a lot going on in the world I want to change and be part of but I didn’t really know how. To do this has been really good to understand how young people can make a difference and I want to do more.
“This is the first time we’ve had an opportunity to work like this as a team on something that is in the real world. It was really good to do that.”
Her teammate Emily added:
“We learned so much about abuse that we didn’t know. It felt important to talk about it as an issue and make others more aware of it and the impact it has on families. I’m really pleased we won the grant.”
YPI is an active citizenship programme of The Wood Foundation which has been responsible for £5m reaching charities represented by young people. Through teamwork, research, competition, and skills development, young people advocate for social issues in their local communities. Each of the schools channels a grant of £3000. It empowers young people to lead change and lead their learning.
Emma Fraser from the charity said:
“We think very highly of YPI as it gives pupils the opportunity to become more aware of social issues in their communities and the organisations working to tackle these issues on a local level. Importantly, it gives services like ours the opportunities to raise awareness within school communities – this is something that we consider invaluable.
“We always welcome involvement with YPI. We enjoy meeting the pupils to talk with them about the work that we do and we are always impressed with the pupils’ dedication and enthusiasm. Indeed, we wish YPI was something we could have been involved in during our own school years (long ago!).”
The video is available here.