Julie and Murray from Kyle Academy secured £3000 for SeAScape through YPI in 2021. Their creative, impactful, and personable presentation can be found here.
They share what the experience meant to them and #WhyYPI is so important for young people.
1. Tell us about our YPI experience (Murray)
“We represented an incredible local charity called SeAScape-they deal with many harrowing social issues such as homelessness and poverty – and they were incredibly supportive and helpful throughout the entirety of the creative process. We met virtually with representatives from the charity to discuss our YPI platform and we brought forth questions which we had for them, which they gladly answered. Now, when choosing a charity to focus your YPI presentation on, teachers tend to advise that you pick one which you are familiar with in your local area, and one that you may have utilised the services of before – but for our circumstance, this was far from the truth. We both had actually never even heard of SeAScape before YPI and, although it provided its challenges, we managed to make it work.
“By using any newspaper articles, Facebook posts, tweets, leaflets, or posters that we could find, we managed to create a wonderful presentation on the charity and the social issue in which they are attempting to conquer, which led us to winning them a grand sum of £3000. Of course, we completed our presentation during the second COVID-19 lockdown when we weren’t at school and couldn’t meet up. During this time, we engaged in frequent Zoom calls to see how the other was getting on, and to see if we were managing to film the content required to produce the presentation. Whether your presentation is a video, PowerPoint, article, short film, or whatever else you can conjure up, having access to good ICT will make your life much easier, especially if it has to be completed online.”
2. How did it feel to win the money? (Julie)
“When we found out that we had won the money, Murray and I were thrilled! We were overjoyed that our presentation had earned an amazing charity like SeAscape such a significant sum of money. The time and effort that we put into the project seemed so worthwhile, and the feeling of joy remained for days after the announcement. The charity provides essential housing support and resources to those in need, which is especially relevant in the current situation regarding the pandemic. We are honoured to have supported such a wonderful charity in carrying out their vital work.”
3. Why did you choose to do your video in this style? (Murray)
“I like to pride myself on being good at using technology and I am able to shoot, produce, and edit short movies. In contrast, Julie is a very gifted and naturally creative person who is amazing in anything involving music or art, so the two of us combined would be the perfect pairing to make a short film. We both incorporated ideas into the project, which is a vital strength in order to work effectively in a team for YPI, and we managed to make the social distancing rules work. We appeared on camera, in public, and around our own houses in order to convince the viewers to choose us as the school winners of YPI 2021.”
4. Why did it feel important to do something for your community? (Murray)
“As a young person in 2021, it’s common to feel powerless. We witness a multitude of issues being discussed by politicians, but never seem to have a say in matters that concern our communities and futures. Many a time I’ve felt unseen. Overlooked, even. I’m unafraid to say that in today’s society, young people just aren’t included enough in the wider discussions about topics that significantly affect our lives and our future.
“For me, YPI was a glimmer of hope. It allowed me to contribute towards a wider cause, and to have a voice that I felt was listened to. During a time when so many people were experiencing incredible hardship, I was able to make a small difference – and the small difference allowed me to believe that change IS possible. And suddenly, I felt a sense of relief and pride that I had been a part of the much-needed change that must take place in our community.
“For anybody who is taking part in YPI, I would encourage you to take a leap. You are never fully aware of your influence until you make your way through the project and realise that the knowledge that you have gained is the key to change.”
5. What interested and inspired you about the charity? (Julie)
“Before settling on SeAScape, we actually contacted three or four different charities to get a feel for our favourite. I would highly recommend doing this before choosing a charity because you may finish your project and find one more suited to your team which inevitably would have been the better option. We landed on SeAScape because they were the charity who provided the best information about themselves, presented the charity well online, and were encouraging and supportive towards our project. They were constantly in touch via email asking how we were getting on, wondering if we needed any help, and were just generally there to lend a helping hand.
“I would seriously encourage anyone doing YPI to make an effort to set up phone, video, or meeting calls with charity representatives, because making that connection (albeit through technology) can make all of the difference in the long run. Ensure that you are confident that you can make a ten-minute project with the substance the charity has provided, and, if not, never be afraid to send emails asking for some more information. Charities are always happy to help.”
6. Do you think you’d like to do more charity support or advocacy? (Julie)
“Absolutely! After completing the YPI finals and hearing all about the fantastic charities that operate in Ayrshire I was amazed about the variety of the resources available to those who may require them. For example, before started my charity research I was completely unaware that there were not one, but several befriending projects running locally. The process of YPI inspired me to consider taking part in similar opportunities as it not only widened my knowledge and understanding of the social issues that exist in my community, but also contributed to combatting the issues themselves.”
7. What did you enjoy about the YPI experience? (Murray)
“For me, YPI was one of the best things to come out of the year 2021. The few ups and many downs of lockdown made it difficult to reconnect with the world and find the confidence to happily leave your house without the fear of embarrassment. Being isolated at home with nothing to stare at but four blank walls consumed our lives for months and made us vulnerable to getting ourselves back out there again. YPI completely eradicated that. It grew our confidence, provided us with lifelong skills which can repeatedly be utilised, and gave us a challenge to solve when nothing else seemed to happening in our lives.
“I’ll be honest, if you’re doing YPI for the sole purpose of something to put on your CV, then you should seriously consider if it’s for you. Because YPI is so much more. It’s the journey of preparing your own presentation from statistics on a page to your own fully fledged presentation. It’s the communications skills between you and your charity. It’s the magic of editing everything down to the tiniest detail. And most of all, it’s the joy and feeling of accomplishment when you have successfully presented your project to a panel of judges and they all love it. The aim of YPI is not just to win £3000 for your charity, but it is to improve the knowledge and understanding of young people about the real struggles of modern day charities in today’s society.”
Their video is available here.