A group of five pupils from Sandwick Junior High School has secured £3,000 in funding for the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) by delivering an award-winning presentation on behalf of the charity at this year’s Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).
Alex Jamieson, Dougie Smith, Kamran Irvani, Luke Dutch, and Zoe Rivett, said they chose to represent RVS Shetland because of its good work with older people in the community, highlighting the Sandwick Social Club and Cunningsburgh Lunch Club.
The YPI is an annual citizenship programme that encourages young people to take part in philanthropy in their local community. The youngsters compete to win the top prize of £3,000 for a charity in their area.
The initiative culminates in a final presentation which is delivered by the pupils to fellow students, teachers, parents, charity representatives and judges. The judging is then carried out by representatives of the parent council, pupil council, the school itself and the local authority.
Dougie created an animated video that the group showed as part of the presentation. He said: “I really enjoyed the process of making the video. I’ve been making stop-motion videos for quite a while now and it was really important to me to get the message right on this one.
“I spent a long time researching and making sure I used the right imagery, told the story accurately, and chose the right music to get the message across.”
This is the first year that RVS Shetland has been represented in the YPI and the pupils from Sandwick competed against other young people representing services such as Disability Shetland, Mind Your Head, Shetland Befriending, Samaritans, and Shetland Women’s Aid.
RVS Shetland service manager Moira Bell said: “The presentation delivered by the young people was excellent. It really captured RVS’ values and how we work locally.”
She added: “£3,000 represents a significant boost to our annual funds and we appreciate all the hard work the young people put into winning this money for the organisation.”
Alex, in particular, felt strongly that RVS Shetland provides a vital community service, with his great-grandmother, Annabel Hepburn, regularly attending the lunch club in Cunningsburgh
He said: “I didn’t actually realise my great-granny was going to the lunch club when we first chose to represent RVS as part of the YPI, but when I went home and told my mum what we were doing and she told me granny used the service, I felt like, okay this is really good for helping older people generally but now it’s actually quite personally important to me too.”
At a cheque presentation ceremony at the school last week, Mrs Bell said: “The commitment of our volunteers is what makes RVS special, creating a real difference in our communities. Whether volunteering as a driver, at a lunch club or café, or supporting older people to regain their independence, our volunteers help to enrich the lives of older people all across Shetland and beyond, and the hard work put in by the pupils at Sandwick will go towards funding that ongoing vital service.
“We are always keen to welcome more volunteers to work with us. Our volunteers tell us that they benefit as much as the older people they help; training and development, the opportunity to meet new people, hearing fascinating stories, keeping busy and making a difference in the community are just some of the reasons why people volunteer with RVS.”