£3000 boost for The Bungalow thanks to Youth Philanthropy Initiative

PICTURED from left are Mackie Guidance teacher Douglas Watt, The Bungalow senior care worker Doreen Hall with service user Scott Cameron, and pupils Joshua Myers, James Duncan and Arran Shoker.
PICTURED from left are Mackie Guidance teacher Douglas Watt, The Bungalow senior care worker Doreen Hall with service user Scott Cameron, and pupils Joshua Myers, James Duncan and Arran Shoker.

A STONEHAVEN care home has received a welcome funding boost, thanks to the efforts of three community-minded Mackie Academy pupils.

Fifth year students Arran Shoker, James Duncan and Joshua Myers formed the winning team in the school’s 2011 Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), a scheme launched three years ago to encourage youngsters to engage with charities in their area and make a positive contribution to the community.

Since October, 11 teams of Mackie pupils have worked together to identify the most pressing social needs in the community and the local charities they believed were best placed to address them.

Each team visited their chosen charity to gain a better understanding of how it operates and then last week presented an argument as to why their proposed charity was most deserving of support.

The group judged to have delivered the most persuasive presentation, in each school, is granted £3,000 to award to their charity. This year’s winners - Arran, James and Joshua – chose The Bungalow, a care home on Stonehaven’s Arduthie Street which provides residential care to four young adults with learning disabilities.

The pupils made their presentations in front of a team of four judges – rector Andrew Griffiths, Jill Summers from Nexen, Douglas Knox, president of Stonehaven Rotary Club and Alison McLachlan from the Wood Family Trust which manages the scheme in Scotland and provides the £3000 prize.

The three teenagers were already volunteering at The Bungalow before getting involved in the YPI scheme and said they are delighted to have been able to help out a very worthy cause.

Senior care worker at The Bungalow Doreen Hall said: “We are thrilled that we are getting this funding, it is absolutely fantastic. We’d like to say well done to the guys – they’ve done a great job befriending Scott and the other service users as well and we are really chuffed that they chose The Bungalow to do their work on.”

Guidance teacher Douglas Watt said: “I think it is important to say that before the competition was even talked about these guys were giving up their own time to go down to The Bungalow, they didn’t do this just because the competition was coming up.

“I’m extremely proud of them, they have shown a huge amount of commitment and it is all about them giving something back to the community.”

Joshua added: “It could sometimes appear to be hard work but it is very rewarding. The Bungalow just seemed like a really worthy charity and we were already volunteering there.

“I don’t think they get enough recognition for what they do.”

The trio will attend a final awards ceremony in the Beach Ballroom in June.