Students from McLaren High School continue their charity engagement far beyond their YPI Final Showcase.
From fundraising through to school initiatives, the S5 cohort has been inspired and empowered by the experience to continue being advocates for charities and social issues.
Highlights from this year include an open mic night, a weekly pick and mix stall, and a bake sale which have raised more than £1000.
The students are encouraged by their YPI Lead Teacher Matt Wadkins. The school offers space and support for the initiatives, but they are entirely student-led and done outwith class hours.
Their reflections include:
“We fundraised £400 by doing an open mic night which involved several McLaren students playing instruments. It was a fantastic and fun night. It was brilliant to see so many students involved. We chose to do an open mic night instead of anything else as we worked out it would be the most profitable and it was a good way to involve students and raise awareness of the charity across the whole school and community. It felt good to organise because we knew we were helping others. Organising was stressful at first but once more students took an interest, we felt more confident that it would be a success.”
“Now we know what the charity’s aims and goals are, we feel motivated to help them to achieve them. We are going to work with our charity to create a safe space in McLaren High School where students can go to talk to someone about anything – no matter how big or small.”
“We decided to run a pick and mix stall in the school to help raise awareness and develop people’s understanding of the charity as it is relatively small and not well known. This included meeting up outside of school and organising the sweets for the stall and this further allowed us to work on our teamwork skills in preparation for the final presentation. Doing this we managed to raise a total of £300 for the charity. This was a major achievement for us as it was double our goal amount and will be an additional help to the £3000 that we won.”
“We plan to be more involved with raising funds for this charity and other charities as we feel it is beneficial for us as it develops our understanding of local charities. We also want to be able to help more people and have the opportunity to try to improve people’s lives.”
As well as fundraising, one group is working with the local mental health charity it represented to develop plans for a potential programme of support based in the school.
This is the third year the school has run YPI. Matt Wadkins is the YPI Lead Teacher. He said:
“YPI fits our school values of community, opportunity, knowledge, and achievement to a ‘T’. It helps to build a culture and puts the values into action. It provides opportunities to grow and develop.
“We are committed to charity contact. This can be challenging being a rural school so we encourage students to think about different ways they can be connected to their charity and fundraising is one of these ways.
“It starts with one or two very keen groups fundraising, then other students want to get involved. It gets a little bit competitive which is great. They are working hard and doing more to develop their teamwork and other skills. They’ve really embraced it.
“The fundraising really is student-led and we’re very proud of what they’re doing and the connections they are keeping with their charities.”
McLaren High School delivered YPI to its S5 year group, launching in June and holding its YPI Final Showcase after the October holidays.