Biggest independent initiative being delivered in Scottish education
More than 35,000 young people have been empowered to secure more than £750,000 for charities across the country.
The Wood Foundation’s Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), which took place in more than 250 secondary schools, saw young people research and represent causes including mental health, poverty, abuse, and support for those with health and disability conditions.
YPI is the biggest independent initiative being delivered in Scottish education. The active citizenship programme engages a full year-group at each school who learn about the needs of their communities and the work of local charities. The students work in teams to do in-depth research and develop a creative and convincing presentation in a bid to secure their school’s YPI grant of £3000.
Presentations at schools’ YPI Final Showcases this year have included a poignant poem about the impact of dementia and losing a loved one; a song about seeking support for mental health; a cartoon animation depicting poverty; and an acting performance focusing on domestic abuse. Each of the successful teams brought to life their social issue, the difference the charity makes, and the business case for the impact of the £3000 grant locally.
Ali MacLachlan, UK Director at The Wood Foundation, said: “We need to give young people the space, time, and opportunities to have their voices heard now, with the resources to act upon what they believe and realise their potential and responsibilities as active citizens.
“YPI is vitally important for young people in terms of their understanding of the world and their role in it, as well as developing their skills. It is also incredibly supportive of schools’ culture, drivers, and curriculum.
“Charities tell us that engaging a new generation of advocates and volunteers, raising awareness of what they do and promoting conversations, is as important as the opportunity to secure funds. Teachers tell us it is improving vital skills for learning, life, and work and making their young people more aware of their communities.
“Most importantly, young people tell us that YPI is giving them opportunities to better understand their communities and feel empowered to be part of change.
“The Wood Foundation is proud to partner with schools in delivering this vital opportunity for our young people and communities.”
Since it was launched in Scotland in 2008, 270,000 young people have taken part in YPI with £6m reaching local charities.
The Wood Foundation, the venture philanthropic organisation established by Sir Ian Wood and his family, is the operational manager and principal funder of YPI in Scotland. The programme is also supported by a range of likeminded funding partners.
STV Children’s Appeal has supported YPI for 10 years. Nat Wright of the organisation said:
“We are incredibly proud to support charities with a need so clearly identified and supported by young people. In our efforts to tackle child poverty, granting to organisations advocated for by young people is really important.”