Mearns pupils win £3k for charity

Craig Stephen, Adam Whyte and Aimee McPherson presenting Jean Malcolm, Area Volunteer Organiser, and Lorna Dunbar, Support Officer, with the donation

Craig Stephen, Adam Whyte and Aimee McPherson presenting Jean Malcolm, Area Volunteer Organiser, and Lorna Dunbar, Support Officer, with the donation

Four Mearns Academy students have won £3,000 for a charity which offers tea, cake and company to older people in the local area at risk of social isolation.

Mearns Academy S6 pupils, Jamie Chree, Aimee McPherson, Craig Stephen and Adam Whyte were awarded the funds from the YPI, (Youth Philanthropy Initiative), a project that’s about creativity, passion and supporting the issues young people care most about.

The team gave a presentation explaining just how many people are now identified as lonely, outlining the objectives of Contact the Elderly and how it is helping to tackle this problem.

They also spent a Sunday afternoon at a tea party in Brechin, interviewing volunteers and guests and seeing for themselves the difference the charity makes. They produced a short video which they used as part of their presentation.

The win is timely for the charity that recently launched its first group in Laurencekirk.

Lorna Dunbar, Support Officer for Contact the Elderly attended the final, which was held at the school, where 5 teams introduced their YPI presentation on their chosen charity in the final. She said: “All the pupils who took part in this wonderful initiative are to be commended. It was clear to see just how hard they had all worked and each presentation was unique.

“For our team to win and Contact the Elderly to receive the £3,000 donation is amazing. We have very recently launched a new group and these funds will help with that and to hopefully get more groups up and running in the local area in the coming months. Thank you so much again Mearns Academy.”

Contact the Elderly organises free tea parties one Sunday afternoon a month for people age 75 and over who live alone. Guests, as they are referred to, are picked up by volunteer drivers and taken to a volunteer host’s home where they enjoy afternoon tea in a comfortable, relaxed environment, before being driven home again.