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Barra food bank secures £3,000 thanks to local pupils

Barra pupils have earned £3000 for the Uist and Barra Foodbank after winning a competition supported by CalMac.

The S3 team from Castlebay Community School, made up of Ellie, Comghall and Demi, impressed the judges at the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) event with their depth of research and their passion for the food bank.

Barra food bank - thanks to local pupils

The live YPI Final Showcase was held in the school with judges Sineag Blane, Iagan MacNeil, Dr. Scott McMinn, Penny Burgess, and Mairead Campbell, as well as Sean Harrison from CalMac, attending virtually.

The funds will be used for to buy fresh food supplies for families, support the Christmas box appeal, and contribute to the purchase of fridges in order to store fresh foods.

CalMac is the regional funding partner for the active citizenship programme. Its team supports judging panels, as well as mentoring finalist teams to develop meaningful, creative, and impactful presentations.

Sean Harrison, Customer Advisor for CalMac in Stornoway, said:"I have always had a keen interest in my local community and by participating in the YPI final, I have been able to learn more about the invaluable work that local projects are undertaking within Uist and Barra.

"The student presentations were superb and their passion for their communities was very evident. A big well done to the students, the school and mentors involved. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I am glad that a local project has benefited as a result of this rewarding process."

Ellie was in the winning team. She said: "The mentor helped us get our ideas on paper and present them better. He gave us helpful advice that will help us in later life as well."

Alex Reid, YPI Delivery Lead at The Wood Foundation, said: "Congratulations to the young people at Castlebay for committing so fully to this opportunity to raise awareness for causes they care about.

"The mentoring offered by CalMac is very important and supported young people to gain vital real-world advice to bring their presentations to life. The impact was clear to see during the YPI Final Showcase. Our thanks to CalMac for its ongoing funding support, empowering young people to positively impact their local community."

Volunteer Centre Western Isles supports the delivery of YPI throughout the Western Isles.

For further information, please contact CalMac's External Communications Manager Fiona Borland by emailing

About CalMac

CalMac is the UK's largest ferry operator, running 29 routes to over 50 destinations, across 200 miles of Scotland's west coast. Our fleet of 33 vessels complete approximately 136,000 sailings a year with crossings ranging from five minutes to five and a half hours. In 2019, our busiest year to date, we carried more than 5.6 million passengers. CalMac provides an everyday lifeline service to west coast communities, and for tourism, we play a critical role in enabling its development, which is hugely important for the area's economy.

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