Generous Largs Academy pupils donate winnings to local charity

Largs Academy's winning Youth and Philanthropy Initiative pupils have chosen a local debt, welfare and housing advice charity for their £3,000 prize donation.

Four of the five girl team payed a visit to CHAP in Ardrossan this week after working with the charity as part of the initiative.

S2 pupils Rose, Amelia, Alysha, Lily and Zoe came out on top in the competition which is described as an active citizenship programme, empowering young people to make a difference in their communities while developing a range of skills.

As part of the initiative, the girls organised a cake sale at school, baking cakes themselves and going around local businesses in Largs to ask them to donate cakes.

They raised a total of £150 and decided to spend the money creating care packages for local people in need. They asked for advice from CHAP before shopping and creating personalised gift bags containing hygiene products and small treats, such as chocolate, for those struggling to make ends meet.

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative was introduced to Scotland in 2008 by The Wood Foundation. Since then, it has engaged more than 310,000 young people who have taken responsibility for £6.8m of charitable giving.

Second year pupils at Largs Academy take part every year.

Ray Chaney, chair of the Board of Trustees for CHAP, welcomed the girls this week as they met with trustees and staff so they could express their gratitude.

My Chaney said: “We were so impressed by the maturity and thoughtfulness of the team. Not only did they directly help our clients, but the prize for winning their school’s competition was a £3,000 donation from the sponsors, which the girls also chose to pass on to CHAP in support of our ongoing work within the community.

“Something like this brings real smiles to our faces and genuinely makes us feel positive about the future in the hands of young people such as these.”

Largs Academy teacher, Miss Tait added: “The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative is a great opportunity for pupils to gain skills, from organisation and planning to production and entrepreneurship.

"It is also great experience for building self-confidence, public speaking and presenting in front of an audience”.

Robin Ballantyne, who heads up CHAP’s school and community education programmes also praised the Largs Academy team.

She said: “I meet with many young people in schools, working with them to face the realities of life and money. Essential skills such as budgeting and money management can be taught but genuine empathy for, and understanding of the challenges that exist across the community is simply priceless.”

CHAP will use the girls’ prize money to assist local clients through its Discretionary Fund; money that advisors can access when a client is in dire need of assistance.

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