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Pitlochry Highschool Students Fund £3,000 for Samaritans

LISTEN: Pitlochry Highschool pupils explain why the Samaritans were their charity of choice

A team of three pupils won £3,000 for the Samaritans through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) which asks Scottish secondary pupils to find a charity they want to put forward for funding.

The teams are asked to make their case to a panel of judges and each school is responsible for directing a grant of £3000 to a local charity championed by its students through teamwork, research, and competition.

Secondary three pupils, Tori, Tal and Joseph made up the winning team who represented the Samaritans.

Tal explained: “You are in groups, and you have to make a presentation trying to win three-thousand pounds for a chosen charity.”

Pitlochry Highschool student, Isla added: “It’s kind of centred around an issue that you’ve chosen, so we started off with choosing the issues and then choosing a charity from that.”

YPI is organised by The Wood Foundation who started the initiative in 2008 with the aim of inspiring young people into philanthropy.

Ali MacLachlan, UK Director at The Wood Foundation, said: “Young people raising awareness of social issues and ensuring this much-needed grants reached communities at a time of acute need is so important.

“Giving young people a platform and a voice to lead their learning and make a difference to the issues they saw first-hand locally took on additional significance in a year when so much autonomy was taken away.

“We have been blown away by many of the presentations and have great hope that our young people are an exciting force for change.”

The winning team from Pitlochry High school put together a video to explain why the Samaritans should be chosen for the £3,000 donation.

Pitlochry Highschool student, Tori said: “In our class, we decided to do something that some of us had personal experience with whether it was family or friends, or you personally that had some kind of experience or knowledge towards the charity.

“So, me and Joseph filmed Tal drawing something with a voice over to explain a little more in depth about the history of the Samaritans.”

The initiative works with multiple organisations across the country to deliver their programme.

Simon Pitts, Chief Executive of STV and STV Children’s Appeal Trustee, said: “We’ve been a YPI funding partner for eight years now, and in that time, we’ve been consistently impressed by the ability of young people to identify social issues within their communities and take the right steps to address them. Not only does this programme train students in the crucial areas of teamwork, problem solving and communication, but it also has a hugely positive impact on our charity partners and, ultimately, the children they work with. 

“We’d like to congratulate the students across the country for their incredible efforts this year and look forward to continuing our partnership with the YPI during the next academic year.”

Pitlochry Highschool’s winning team chose the Samaritans as their charity of choice, however, a close runner up team selected LGBT Scotland as their charity to champion. Their team was made up of Isla, Jaden and Eason.

This team also put together a video, their one focused on the impact homophobia has on young people. They created a creative short drama to get this message across.

Isla added: “I’m in the LGBTQ community, so I felt as though it was kind of important for me to speak about homophobia and those kinds of issues.

“So, we made a video, it takes place around a person who was being bullied at school for who they were and who they identified as. But at first the person was like, ‘no, I’m okay.’ And they were living with a lot of anxiety. And in the video that anxiety becomes a person.”

More information on YPI can be found on: https://ypiscotland.org.uk/

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