Mackie pupils secure £3000 for charity

Eleanor Jack, Erin Blackwood, Joy Reid, Carol Butler (Senior-Coordinator at Home-Start Kincardine) & Marie Airth.
Eleanor Jack, Erin Blackwood, Joy Reid, Carol Butler (Senior-Coordinator at Home-Start Kincardine) & Marie Airth.

A group of four pupils from Mackie Academy have won £3000 for HomeStart Kincardine at their Youth and Philanthropy Initiative final.

S5 pupils Marie Airth, Erin Blackwood, Eleanor Jack, and Joy Reid received the funds for their charity from the Wood Foundation, the principal funder and operational manager of YPI in Scotland.

Six finalist teams took part in the final which was held at Mackie Academy last Tuesday. This is the seventh year that the school has taken part in the programme.

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative is being delivered in 140 schools in Scotland this year engaging almost 20,000 secondary school pupils, and directing £440,000 to local charities.

Each school taking part in YPI select a year group to deliver the programme (between S2-S6) which is then split into teams. Each team then researches a local social service issue they feel passionate about and identfy an appropriate local grassroots charity. They then work together to create presentations and go through stages before the selected finalist teams present in front of a panel of external judges at their school final where the group with the most discerning and impassioned argument wins £3000 for their charity.

Mackie Academy were one of the first schools to take part in the programme when it first began in Scotland in 2008, and its pupils have directed £21,000 in grants over the years to local charities through taking part in YPI.

At the final on Tuesday, six teams were involved, representing five local charities. As well as the winning team, the other charities represented were: Crossroads Caring, Cystic Fibrosis Stonehaven, Richmondhill House, and Rape and Abuse Support (x2 teams).

The girls representing Homestart had raised £700 in the weeks leading up to the final by having a car boot sale, organising a teacher’s ‘bushtucker trial’, having a ‘neon day’ at Dunnottar Primary and through the 65 Club.

Homestart Kincardine is a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the positive sides to family life. They provide volunteers who regularly visit families in their own homes to give practical help, support and friendship. All of the volunteers are parents themselves so they understand the pressures and demands that often come with the job.

They are there to offer reassurance to parents that their difficulties are not unusual or unique, in order to encourage their strengths and emotional well-being for the benefit of the children and get the fun back into family life.

The £3000 will go towards the cost of training the volunteers to ensure that they offer a good quality service to improve the lives of families within the local area.

The judging panel on the evening consisted of Vickie McGillvray, chairperson of the Parent Council, Adrianna Glennie from ABB, and Steve Regulski from Nexen.