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Ullapool students secure £3000 award to Assynt Community Care

By Iona M.J. MacDonald

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Erin, Lacey and Scott who secured £3000 for Assynt Community Care
Erin, Lacey and Scott who secured £3000 for Assynt Community Care

Ullapool High students have secured an award of £3000 for Assynt Community Care through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI). Assynt Community Care provides services to older people as well as adults with disabilities or health problems.

YPI is an active citizenship programme which empowers young people to make a difference in their community about causes which they care about, supported by CalMac, a local funding partner. Through a programme of teamwork, research and competition, a year group takes part, and one team is then chosen to secure the award.

More than 250 schools across Scotland will complete YPI this academic year. Since it was launched in Scotland by the Wood Foundation in 2008 it has empowered more than 230,000 young people to make a difference in their communities, granting more than £5 million to local charities addressing a range of social issues.

Lacey, Scott and Erin from Ullapool High produced an excellent presentation that had the audience engaged throughout and documented why their charity most deserved the award. The award will be used by Assynt Community Care to develop a new art room for the clients to be creative and social.

CalMac’s regional support of YPI sees it partner with 10 schools including Ullapool High. CalMac colleagues act as judges at school’s finals, as well as offering mentoring support to the young people involved in the programme.

Laura Gilliland, Ullapool port manager for CalMac, said: "It was endearing to see how passionate young people can be about their chosen social issue and charity. The groups participating made it an extremely difficult decision to make, it was a pleasure being part of the judging panel.

"Young people are increasingly more aware of social issues and the effect on the lives of people in their communities. YPI is a wonderful example of partnership working and we are proud to support the young people involved who are making a difference in their local area."

A spokesperson for Assynt Community Care, said: “In rural areas like Assynt, it is very difficult to find social, mental and physical support.”

Lucia Giuntoli, YPI partnerships manager, said: “Since 2019, our partnership with CalMac has allowed young people to advocate for social issues they are passionate about supporting in the local area. The support from CalMac as a funding partner to our programme has been very important. Congratulations to the young people at Ullapool High who impressed our team and the judges with their creativity, teamwork, and understanding of their skills development. They are wonderful advocates of #generationchange.”

Kevin Peach of Ullapool Harbour said: “It was great to be able to visit the school again after lockdown. I thought all the teams did incredibly well.

“We were very proud of all the students who delivered their presentations professionally, with consideration and compassion. We feel that all the teams were worthy of being winners!”

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