Youth voice, advocacy, and philanthropy were celebrated with an afternoon of thought-provoking presentations, music, poetry, and speeches at the Perth Concert Hall.
Young people from the length and breadth of Scotland travelled to the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) National Event via ferries, coaches, cars, and trains.
They were joined by teachers, charities, and stakeholders engaged in the national programme which has engaged 39,000 young people this year from 280 secondary school who have been responsible for more than £800,000 reaching local social services charities.
YPI is a programme managed and majority funded by The Wood Foundation. Chairman Sir Ian Wood KT GBE said:
“Through YPI, young people are learning to care, find out more, discuss difficult issues and beginning to realise they have power to do something about them.
“The YPI experience demonstrates the difference young people can make and I would urge them to continue to help their communities. Philanthropy is not just about giving money, it’s about caring and giving your time, attention, and support to help others. My message to them is to never doubt, each and every one of them can make a difference.
“The National Event was an enjoyable, successful, and enlightening day which was entertaining and inspiring thanks to the young people and contributors.”
The event’s theme was #YPI15, kickstarting celebrations of YPI’s 15th anniversary in Scotland. Since 2008, 310,000 young people have been empowered to drive change in their communities by taking responsibility for £6.8m of philanthropic funds.
Sir Ian added:
“We are very proud that YPI has grown and developed so well. The youngsters who have taken part in the programme should share in that pride, together with their teachers, and all the teams and stakeholders that make it such a success.”
Music on the day was provided by Angus-based singer songwriter Ben Walker and there was a surprise performance by pop star Callum Beattie who had been the music act for the events in 2018 and 2019. Callum was there to mark the legacy of a YPI participant Paige from Kirkcaldy High School who he went on to support with her music career before she sadly passed away from cancer last year.
The keynote speakers were Edinburgh-based Rosalind Main from the ‘I Am More’ beauty campaign who shared her activism journey, and motivational speaker Dee Bleakley.
The event was hosted by Fa, Noah, and Jack of Balfron High School. There was moving and creative content from pupils from Mackie Academy, Glenurquhart High School, Glennifer High School, Banff Academy, Kilmarnock Academy, and St David’s RC High School addressing issues such as domestic abuse, poverty, mental health, racism.
The event reflected on the achievements of the current academic year, as well as the legacy that has been created over the past 15 years. Guests were encouraged to consider the next step on their philanthropic journeys and how they would continue to make a difference.