QTS TO SUPPORT YOUTH PHILANTHROPY ACROSS AYRSHIRE
QTS has joined forces with The Wood Foundation to support the development of the Youth & Philanthropy Initiative (YPI Scotland) across Ayrshire. Through YPI, young people from across a whole school year group, work in small teams to actively research and understand the big social issues that affect their local community. In each school the programme culminates with a grand final where the very best teams compete against one another to secure a £3000 grant for their chosen local charity.
During the 2017/18 academic year 19 Ayrshire secondary schools will participate in YPI providing a welcome windfall of £57,000 for local charities. As part of the initiative, representatives from QTS have actively engaged in programme delivery.
On Wednesday 21st March, Kyle Academy hosted its 2018 YPI Final which saw Wheels in Motion – a small local charity focused on supporting those affected by homelessness and poverty in South Ayrshire – secure the £3,000 award. Their YPI champions showcased a powerful example of how young people can directly support the local issues they care most passionately about, with the team spending time on Wheels in Motion’s outreach bus where they got to know staff, volunteers and service users.
Amongst the impressive panel of judges, Alan McLeish, Managing Director, QTS, critiqued the finalist presentations before awarding the £3,000 grant to the winning team. Talking about QTS’s involvement in the YPI programme, Alan McLeish said:
“QTS is an active supporter of youth development across Ayrshire and our wider communities and is excited to be involved with The Wood Foundation and YPI.
“It is important for our young people to not only be successful in their chosen careers but also to be socially aware and considerate of the environment that surrounds them. This initiative not only provides these young people with a real opportunity to increase their social skills, self-confidence and self-belief but also inspires them to look beyond their own lives and understand the issues that affect their communities every day.”
Reflecting on the ongoing development of YPI at Kyle Academy, Oonagh Browne, Acting Head Teacher, commented:
“I am extremely proud of the pupils here at Kyle Academy and have been impressed by the manner in which they have approached and embraced YPI. Involvement in YPI has enabled the school community to develop strong links with small, local charities. This has resulted in a heightened awareness of the social issues which currently exist in our local community. YPI has enhanced pupils’ communication skills alongside a whole host of essential employability skills. Our school values include respect and responsibility – YPI has created opportunities for pupils to further develop these values.”
Reflecting on her YPI experience Kiera Capstick, one of the winning S3 pupils, spoke about her experience of linking so closely with Wheels in Motion and how it felt to secure the YPI Grant:
“We are all overwhelmed and incredibly proud. Having spent time with Wheels in Motion the impact they are having across the community is clear, but they are really up against it. This is a charity providing frontline support on a budget of £12,000 a year. The £3,000 will make such a difference, but we’re just as proud to have shared with so many people the story of Wheels in Motion. Poverty and homelsessness are massive issues; the more we can talk about them the better.”
Speaking about Kyle Academy’s YPI Final, Sir Ian Wood, Chairman of The Wood Foundation said:
“The Wood Foundation is delighted to be collaborating with QTS in support of the sustained growth and development of YPI Scotland across Ayrshire. Over the last 10 years we have established a number of strong partnerships with likeminded funding partners who support programme growth and sustainability, and we look forward to working closely alongside the team at QTS.
“Beyond the grants awarded to local charities via YPI, the programme most significantly impacts upon young people, providing a valuable experience of philanthropy and community action. Well done to all students involved in Kyle Academy’s YPI Final this year.”
Over the last decade the YPI programme has grown and developed across Scotland. During the 2017/18 academic year alone, 230 Scottish secondary schools will participate in YPI. This constitutes 31,000 participating students with collective responsibility for awarding £690,000 to small, local charities throughout Scotland.