Covid sees Mallaig High’s Poppy go solo for philanthropy initiative presentations

Winning team representative, Poppy Dennis, with Steve Dougan YPI Facilitator – Highland.  NO F20 Mallaig High event 01
Winning team representative, Poppy Dennis, with Steve Dougan YPI Facilitator – Highland.  NO F20 Mallaig High event 01

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A team of Mallaig High School pupils flying the flag for the Ewen’s Room charity has boosted the organisation’s coffers by £3,000 after it won the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) finals.

Mallaig High School has taken part in YPI since 2015. The programme raises awareness of social issues and the valuable support provided by local charities.

Teams research a social issue and how it impacts on individuals, families and communities. They choose a local charity to champion, research the work it does and create a presentation designed to win over a panel of judges.

A prize of £3,000 is awarded to the charity of the winning team. The project is funded by The Wood Foundation and supported by business partners.

The regional partner supporting Mallaig High and 10 other schools is CalMac.

This year the project was run with the school’s S4 year group, led by Chris Jenkins and Emma Pearce.

After deliberation, the four teams chose to represent Birchwood Highland; Ewen’s Room; The RNLI and Scottish Charities Air Ambulance.

Presentations were delivered to an audience of S1 and S2 and a panel of judges comprising Julie MacRae, Port Manager for CalMac; Elizabeth Fisher from Skills Development Scotland; John Angus Gillies, ‘Gillie’, Harvest Manager from MOWI; former councillor Denis Rixson and Steve Dougan, YPI Facilitator – Highland.

The attendees at the recent Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Final. NO F20 Mallaig High 02
The attendees at the recent Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Final.
NO F20 Mallaig High 02

After four excellent and enjoyable presentations, the judges awarded the prize to the Ewen’s Room team – Corran, Megan and Poppy.

The win was all the more remarkable as Covid self-isolations meant only one member, Poppy Dennis, was able to deliver her team’s presentation.

Ms MacRae from CalMac said: ‘YPI is a great project for CalMac to be involved with. The project has had a really positive impact on pupils at Mallaig High School and has encouraged young people to engage with charities long term, which is fantastic.’