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A valuable lesson in giving

Chris Small reports on a new community project for pupils

Chris Small reports on a new community project for pupils

A new citizenship project aimed at helping pupils in Glasgow and the surrounding areas to understand the value of community involvement and philanthropy has been launched at St Andrew's Academy in Paisley.

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) is an interactive project where pupils work together in small teams to assess the needs of their local community and identify a grassroots social service charity they believe deserves investment.

After scrutinising the charity's management, budget, strategy and staffing arrangements, meeting its representatives and gaining experience of advocacy and public-speaking skills, teams give a presentation to a panel of judges on why their chosen charity should be supported. The team that articulates the most persuasive argument wins pound;3,000 to donate to the local project they've championed.

Supported by a three-year partnership with the Bank of Scotland, YPI will initially be rolled out to ten schools in the Greater Glasgow area, with more than 1,500 pupils aged 14 to 17 taking part and ten local charities sharing pound;30,000. By its third year, 5,250 young people from 15 secondary schools across the city will collaborate with more than 200 grassroots charities, 30 of which will benefit from funding.

After a successful 2008 pilot in Aberdeen, YPI is now delivered in 40 schools across Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire, in addition to the new Glasgow partnerships.

Tony Quinn, head at St Andrew's Academy, says: "YPI encourages pupils to think about the meaning of philanthropy and recognise that while the act of giving money is an important element, all young people can perform philanthropic acts by donating their time, expertise and effort."

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