Local charities throughout Ayrshire will be set for a financial boost thanks to pupils empowered by QTS.
The leading rail contractor has committed to a fourth year of supporting the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) across 22 of the region’s schools.
YPI is an active citizenship programme which empowers young people to make a difference in the local community. One winning team from each school secures a grant of £3000 for a local charity.
Managing Director of QTS, Alan McLeish said:
“For us, working alongside The Wood Foundation to deliver the YPI program in Ayrshire was something we were keen to continue with. It’s important to us a local business to stay connected to the issues that are affecting our communities. Thanks to this partnership, we are able to provide assistance some of the region’s most vulnerable people through the charities, but we’re also able to invest our time into helping the young people in our community become more active citizens.
“Our team have embraced the YPI ethos and are proud to represent QTS as judges at the individual school finals, but they also relish the opportunity to go into some of the schools and work with pupils on a one to one basis as part of our mentoring support. We’re thrilled to once again take on the principal sponsorship for this initiative in Ayrshire and look forward to the year ahead.”
One recent recipient of the YPI grant is the STAR Centre in Kilmarnock which supports those who have experienced sexual violence. The funds were secured by pupils at Stewarton Academy for the service to provide Wellbeing Packs to young people and to host Wellbeing Workshops. The service’s manager Alison MacIsaac said:
“At a time of great uncertainty, we have been able to continue to engage with the young people using our service in a way that would not have been financially possible without YPI funding. The Wellbeing Packs that these funds have allowed have had a lovely, caring impact on them. We hope we will be able to follow these up with the planned Wellbeing Workshops in the not too distant future.
“Sexual violence can be a challenging subject for some and more so for young people. The group from Stewarton Academy approached their task with a maturity, responsibility and understanding which was displayed in their presentation. They asked questions and were extremely thorough, at no point did they shy away from difficult subject matter. They were a joy to work with and a credit to their school.”
QTS employees acted as mentors and judges to the pupils at Stewarton Academy through the YPI process. Gillian Dunsmuir who leads the programme in the school said:
“It is wonderful to see QTS investing in our young people to support them in making a difference.
“YPI is important in Stewarton Academy as working with our local community is central to everything that we do. It links to our school values of fairness and responsibility in that we strive to find opportunities for pupils, staff, parents and the wider community to work together to make a positive contribution to society and build a better future for all.
“The winning group fully demonstrated our school values of respect and determination and I was incredibly proud to see them giving up their free time to go out and learn about the traumatic experiences of others.”
Other charities to benefit from the QTS support of YPI in Ayrshire in the past academic year have been Spring Back, Friends of Hillside and North Ayrshire Women’s Aid.