Funds to purchase a new horse for Ravelrig RDA were secured by students at James Gillespie High School in Edinburgh following a competitive virtual Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) Showcase.
The winning team of Hannah Treagus and Viviane Bachmann secured their school’s £3000 YPI grant for the charity.
Hannah has volunteered at Ravelrig RDA for more than two years. She knew the incredible role the horses and centre had to play in supporting families dealing with a host of issues. She said:
“Fundraising has been really hard hit by Covid-19 and I really wanted to share the passion I have for Ravelrig RDA through YPI. We worked really hard on our presentation and were really determined to do well. I am so pleased we secured this funding which will go towards a new horse when the centre can reopen properly.”
The team conducted in-depth research, interviews, and deployed creativity to develop an engaging and convincing PowerPoint and video presentation. Judges of the YPI Showcase included school staff and Claire Drummond from Standard Life Aberdeen who are strong supporters of YPI in Edinburgh.
“It was good to be able to be creative and do something which excited us. YPI was a good bonding experience, not only in our team but across the year. We learned about a lot of different charities in Edinburgh.”
Other charities represented by the S4 students included The Yard, Edinburgh South Community Football Club, Shakti Women’s Aid, and Penumbra. Many of the students had a personal connection to these charities – volunteering with the organisations and being supported by their services. Students presented robust business cases detailing what the £3000 YPI grant would support, and deployed virtual creativity through video clips, smart boards, photographs, and testimonies.
Standard Life Aberdeen has supported YPI in Edinburgh for three years. Claire Drummond, Head of Charitable Giving, said:
“This was the first virtual judging panel I have taken part in and I was just as impressed with the determination, professionalism, passion, and creativity profiled as I have been at in-person events. This was a particularly impactful YPI Showcase, especially hearing of the incredible commitment many of these young people had to these organisations. It was a tough decision but the Ravelrig RDA team was incredibly polished and convincing.
“Standard Life Aberdeen is proud to partner with YPI in Edinburgh, supporting the sustainability and growth of the programme. It gives us the opportunity to not only grant vital funds to community charities, but also engage with our local schools.”
Barbara Johnstone MBE is Organiser and Trustee of Ravelrig RDA which also secured a YPI grant through students at St George’s School earlier this year. She said:
“The successful groups were impressive from the start and had really interesting questions. They clearly took on board all I had shared with them in their presentations.
“YPI is so beneficial for the personal growth of the youngsters and the reward for us is massive.”
YPI is an active citizenship programme of The Wood Foundation which empowers young people to make a difference in their communities while developing a host of skills. Young people from across Scotland have taken responsibility for almost £5m of charitable giving through YPI. They work in teams to identify social issues and charities addressing those in their communities, before developing convincing and creative presentations in a bid to secure £3000.
Kathleen Bladon leads YPI at James Gillespie High School. She said:
“Having the funding for the community locked in was a real motivator to make sure we still did YPI this year. The students had worked so hard and it’s really important for us to allow them to showcase their values in action and skills development, as well as to help them understand how they can make a real difference.
“Our students have kept us going this year and did an incredible job with their presentations. Teenagers stuck at home are capable of really brilliant things and I am so proud.”
Students had started the YPI process in class but had gone back into lockdown before the Showcase. The school adapted to a virtual model, recording some presentations before the Christmas break and asking others to submit online. The school used Microsoft Teams to involve students in planning and attending the Showcase.
Laurie Dunns is a teacher at the school and supported the judging panel. He said:
“This process really showed the resilience and flexibility of pupils.”
Sue Beattie is the Regional Facilitator for YPI in Edinburgh. She added:
“Overwhelmingly these young people spoke with passion, care, empathy, and sympathy in the most gracious and articulate way – a very eloquent group. They clearly invested a lot of time and energy in YPI.”