Portlethen Academy pupils donate to Cornerstone

The winning team, comprising of Noah Methven, Melissa Tavendale, Jack Dinnie and Pedro Pereira,
The winning team, comprising of Noah Methven, Melissa Tavendale, Jack Dinnie and Pedro Pereira,

Pupils at Portlethen Academy held their Youth and Philanthropy Initiative last week, where £3000 was granted to local charity Cornerstone.

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) is a programme currently delivered in 110 secondary schools in Scotland by the Wood Family Trust. Originally a programme of the Toskan Casale Foundation in Canada, YPI was introduced in Scotland in 2008 and has since engaged with over 25,000 pupils across the country.

Each school selects a year group to deliver the programme (between S2 and S6) which is then split into teams. Each team then researches a local social service issue they feel passionate about and identify an appropriate local grassroots charity.

They then work together to create presentations and go through stages before the finalists present in front of a panel of judges, where the group with the most discerning and impassioned argument wins £3000 for their chosen charity.

Portlethen Academy has been taking part in YPI for four years and delivers the programme through their S2 English cirriculum.

At the final last Wednesday evening, which took place in Portlethen Academy, the theme was creativity.

The teachers had put a ban on students using powerpoint presentations as their main use of communicating which resulted in an entertaining evening as the groups incorporated drama, singing, and sports into their presentations.

There were five teams taking part and a large judging panel including teachers, PTA representatives, and senior pupils.

The five teams represented four small charities - Penumbra (represented by two teams), Make-A-Wish Foundation, Instant Neighbour, and Cornerstone.

The winning team, comprising of Noah Methven, Melissa Tavendale, Jack Dinnie and Pedro Pereira, secured the £3000 prize for Cornerstone after their impressive dramatisation about the charity.

Cornerstone, a Scottish charity providing support and care for adults and children with disabilities and other care needs, recently built a block of flats near Portlethen Academy giving six people with disabilities a home to call their own.

The residents in these flats have continual care in a state-of-the-art building designed for their individual needs.

It can also mean those with debilitating illnesses can stay in the place they call their home for longer.

The winning team had gone along to the charity to find out more and have said the £3000 will go towards a new sensory room within the building.

As well as this £3000 donation, the four runner-up teams’ charities will also receive £100 each from Portlethen Academy’s Charity Committee.

Jonathon Christie, YPI manager for Scotland: “Portlethen Academy’s YPI finals over the last four years have been continually impressive.

‘‘The talent, courage and passion that the pupils have for the local charities and their community is inspiring, as is the enthusiasm throughout shown by the whole school.

“The Academy’s Charity Committee making further donations to the runner-up charities is also fantastic, as is the fact that the pupils have shown an inclination to continue voluntary engagement with their charities.”