High school students win windfall for youth group

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Four S2 Arran High School pupils have secured a £3,000 donation for the Arran Youth Foundations (AYF) at an annaul event aimed at teaching children about charity, social issues and about being responsible community citizens.

Alice Lockhart, Gordon Bloy, Lewis Swandells and Cameron McNeish made up the winning team at the Youth Philanthropy Initiative by putting on a convincing presentation detailing why their charity deserved the cash support.

The YPI, which is now in its sixth year on Arran, sees pupils visiting local charities, learning about what they do – and the people that they help – before putting together a presentation before a judging panel who decide which is the most convincing.

Ten teams took part in this year’s initiative with pupils putting forward the causes of the Arran Youth Foundations (AYF), RNLI, Arran First Responders, Arran Mountain Rescue Team (AMRT) and National Search and Rescue Dog Association (NSARDA).

Following a considered deliberation, judges Barry Smith – head teacher, Gina Boni – winner from the previous year, Cecilia Paul – Arran Banner, Brodie Pearcy – assistant island officer, Meg el Adm – owner of Lamlash Bay Hotel, and Isabel Johnstone the YPI regional facilitator, selected the AYF team as the most convincing.

Judge and head teacher Barry Smith congratulated all of the pupils on the quality of their presentations. Citing the knowledge, passion, creativity and effort put into their presentations, he said that the event was the best that he had seen in years.

YPI regional facilitator, Isabel Johnstone echoed the sentiment saying: ‘Over the last five years that I have been involved in the initiative I have never seen every single team presenting all of the information without the use of scripts. The standard from Arran High School is incredibly high and the presentations have been fantastic.’

Teacher Mara Gosman added to the praise saying: ‘ Congratulations to all of the teams who have displayed impressive commitment and who have worked really hard to represent these worthwhile causes.’

The £3,000 which the children won will contribute to the sum of £18,000 for local charities which has been secured by the pupils and donated by the YPI over the past six years.

Head teacher Barry Smith announces the winners of the 2019 YPI while the judging panel looks on. 01_B18YPI01

Isabel Johnstone presents Alice Lockhart, Gordon Bloy, Lewis Swandells, Cameron McNeish and head teacher Barry Smith with the winning cheque. 01_B18YPI02

The winning team presents AYF youth worker Hollie Watkins with the cheque that they won for the youth group. 01_B18YPI03