Nicolson Institute students secure funding for Western Isles Women’s Aid

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Nicolson Institute students have secured £3,000 for Western Isles Women’s Aid through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

Bethany MacLeod, Caitlin Morrison, Millie Widdop and Simeon Fletcher from the Stornoway school profiled the work of Western Isles Women’s Aid, highlighting the role of the service within the community.

The award will allow the group to raise awareness in schools and public places by designing and producing posters with QR codes linking to information on Women’s Aid. They will also be displayed in toilets where the code can be scanned confidentially. They will also use the award to provide wi-fi in the Women’s Aid refuge.

YPI empowers young people to make a difference in their community. Through a unique programme of teamwork, research and competition, an entire year group takes part and one team is chosen to secure the grant.

Richard Fraser of the Nicolson Institute said: ‘Congratulations to the winning team. Their fantastic video presentation on behalf of Western Isles Women’s Aid really impressed the YPI judges.

‘This year was the first time we’ve had a fully online YPI final and while we missed the festive atmosphere of a live event in the assembly hall, we managed to have all the key elements that make a successful YPI final. All the teams did very well.’

YPI is supported by Caledonian MacBrayne. The delivery and engagement of The Wood Foundation programme is also supported by Volunteer Centre Western Isles (VCWI).

Suzanne MacAulay of VCWI added: ‘Through YPI, youth volunteers are able to make a positive impact on the services of Western Isles Women’s Aid and the lives of their service users.

‘Well done to all the pupils who took part this year. We are in our fourth year of running the YPI initiative on behalf of The Wood Foundation across the Western Isles and the standard of presentations and engagement with charities is inspiring.’

CalMac’s regional support of YPI sees it partner with 10 schools including the Nicolson Institute, Sir E Scott School, Sgoil Lionacleit and Castlebay. CalMac colleagues act as judges at schools’ finals, as well as offering mentoring support to young people involved in the programme.

Christina MacKay, CalMac customer advisor in Stornoway, said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed supporting the programme as a judge at the YPI final. I was really encouraged by the young people and have huge admiration for the work they put into the project.’

More than 250 schools in Scotland will complete YPI this academic year. Since it was launched in Scotland by The Wood Foundation in 2008, it has empowered more than 230,000 young people to make a difference in their communities, granting in excess of £5m to charities addressing a range of social issues.

CAPTION:

Bethany MacLeod, Caitlin Morrison, Millie Widdop and Simeon Fletcher from the Nicolson Institute who profiled the work of Western Isles Women’s Aid.

NO F53 Nicolson Institute winners