At Dumfries High School, the winning team represented Dumfries & Galloway SANDS. One of the team member’s family had been supported by the charity following the loss of two siblings.
Below, we hear about the YPI experience from the team’s perspective, as well as from their teacher and our local funding partner of six year The Holywood Trust.
The YPI winning team – Jamie, McKenzie, and James:
How did you find the YPI experience?
James: The YPI experience was very exciting, and fun. We all really enjoyed learning about our charity, reaching out to somebody in the charity and making our presentation. Overall, it was a great experience, and we learned a lot from it.
Tell us more about your presentation.
Jamie: Our presentation was a short PowerPoint presentation with a video afterwards, and a live musical performance. Our presentation went in depth with how the grant could support so many people, and what the money could buy. Our presentation took shape over a couple of weeks with constant tweaking and changing small things but in the end, it was all worth it.
If we’re being honest, I think that we were all nervous on the day but we did everything the judges advised and the presentation was a massive success.
How did it feel to secure funds and raise awareness for a cause close to your heart?
Jamie: Winning YPI and securing funds for a charity very close to me and my family’s heart was amazing. Knowing that the money was going to a charity like SANDS that help support families grieving the loss of a baby was great. Especially because of how SANDS has helped me and my family. Winning YPI for SANDS was just so special.
What do you hope people learned about baby loss from your presentation?
Jamie: I hope that people learned from our presentation that that there is help out there for people who have experienced the loss of a baby, and that they can talk about it. I am also hoping that my presentation helped raise awareness for this fantastic charity and their work.
How did it feel to win?
McKenzie: I was very proud of myself but even more so of Jamie as it is a sensitive topic for him. I was also very happy that I could help to win £3000 for a good cause.
What would your advice be to people doing YPI this year?
McKenzie: My best advice for the pupils doing YPI this year is to just pick a good charity that you believe in and that you are passionate about. You want to get all of the facts that you are required to have and put it together in a video or presentation. You also want to try your very best to make it interesting and eye catching so people pay attention to it as well as making sure you have rehearsed it and perfected it ready for the big day. If you have any talents and skills you can also incorporate them into your presentation this helps add personality to your presentation this helps by making your presentation stand out to the judges.
Local funding partner, The Holywood Trust, Sammie Smith:
Why do you support YPI?
It’s important to The Trust that young people have a say in how grant funding can be used to support local charities in their work and the Youth and Philanthropy Initiatives gives them an opportunity to do that.
What is the impact of young people platforming their voice like this?
YPI not only gives the young people a better understanding of the third sector in their local area but they are given the opportunity to learn and speak about social issues important to them and those charities working to help. Hopefully this can inspire them and their peers and in some cases can result in long lasting relationships between the young people and their charities.
YPI Lead Teacher, Fiona Martin:
Why is YPI important in your school?
YPI is important as it allows our pupils to build a much greater understanding of the world around them and really make a difference in our local community. Seeing pupils’ creativity, motivation and determination to be successful for their charity is always an inspiration and some of the end presentations are spectacular, allowing the pupils to develop their digital and communication skills along the way. I personally love seeing the pupils build their confidence throughout the project and love watching them take their initial ideas and follow them through to a persuasive and engaging presentation worthy of the grant.
How do you support students tackling difficult, personal issues?
When pupils choose to tackle a difficult, personal issue I always encourage them to go for it as their passion and desire to succeed always shine through and usually this leads to particularly strong, compelling presentations. It is important that pupils feel safe to share their story with their peers and the judges though, so time is spent with the pupils in the group to ensure this is the case. Throughout all YPI presentations peers are encouraged to be respectful of the pitches and what they mean to the presenters and we have found that the young people tend to be really proud of each other when personal stories are shared.
Watch the presentation here.