Charity engagement through YPI can go beyond teams’ individual experiences to forging lasting community connections for the school.
Following the YPI Final Showcase at Aboyne Academy, the school realised the value that Therapets could have with ASL students and a relationship with Reuben the basset hound was formed.
Paul, Callum, Fergus, Leon, and Craig represented Therapets in the showcase because they had a family connection to the charity. They said:
“We heard how amazing they were, and we wanted to learn more. We also love dogs, so it was a win-win.
“It feels really good to know that we helped to make his visits to school happen, that we did something that made a difference to people. We love seeing Reuben around the school and how happy he makes everyone!”
Amanda Phillipson, Principal Teacher of ASL, added:
“Reuben has a profound impact on the wellbeing of some of our most vulnerable youngsters and likewise gives our staff a boost when they see the joy he brings to our pupils. Reuben is a very handsome and adorable basset hound, and he knows it!
I have regularly seen Reuben stroll into our classroom and help turn around distressed and disengaged pupils, some of whom are struggling with very difficult situations in their lives. He’s a very chilled dog and he enjoys being sociable and the adoration he receives from staff and pupils alike. He particularly likes demonstrating his prowess at high fives, albeit in return for a tasty snack. Reuben is a special dog whose calm and relaxed presence acts as a counterpoint to the internal chaos that so many of our youngsters experience. Having him around is a joy for everyone and we miss him when he goes away for his holidays.”
YPI is delivered to around 100 S2 students each year at Aboyne Academy. YPI Lead Teacher Hannah Davainis said:
“YPI is essential in forming community connection. Prior to engaging in the YPI project many of our young people are unaware of some of the social issues that impact their communities and surrounding areas. YPI provides them with the knowledge and awareness they need to then reach out and research the issues, find the charities that relate to those issues and form those all-important connections.
“It is through YPI and the skills it develops in pupils that they have the confidence to reach out to the local community. The YPI Final Showcase allows the connections to strengthen further as charities and community members are invited into the school to witness what the pupils have achieved through their learning. Our showcase guests regularly comment on how impressed they are with Aboyne Academy pupils and the levels of maturity and respect they show as they advocate for their charities.”