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St Columba's students secure funding for Starter Packs Inverclyde

Students from St Columba's High School in Gourock have secured an award of £3000 for Starter Packs Inverclyde through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

Students from St Columba's High School in Gourock have secured an award of £3000 for Starter Packs Inverclyde through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

YPI is an active citizenship programme which empowers young people to make a difference in their community about causes which they care about. Through a unique programme of teamwork, research and competition, an entire year group takes part and one team is chosen to secure the award.

YPI is supported by CalMac as a local funding partner, and CalMac employees support the programme as mentors and judges at YPI finals.

Niamh Durning and Erin Morrison from the Gourock school profiled the work of Starter Packs Inverclyde, highlighting the role of the service within the community.

Starter Packs is a charity which helps people who have been homeless and are offered a tenancy, but lack the funds to purchase basic household items. The award will be used to provide more packs and to buy more products which may be useful.

Gordon McKillop, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for CalMac, said: "Young people are increasingly more aware of social issues and the effect on the lives of people in their communities. YPI is a wonderful example of partnership working and we are proud that our people support the young people involved progress through the programme and make a difference in their local area."

Emma McLaughlin, Business Education Teacher, St Columba's High School, added: "We are delighted as a school that our pupils have had the opportunity to develop their communication and presentation skills throughout the YPI programme and that they have also taken such a mature attitude towards social issues.

"As the chosen charities were close to our pupils' hearts, it was inspirational to see pupils step outside of their comfort zones to show their passion and commitment towards their chosen charity.

"Our teams have worked collaboratively in an efficient manner to be able to maximise their success with the YPI programme and they successfully showed a real insight into the reality of what difficulties our local charities face.

Teams created their presentations in a variety of creative and informative ways, showing how hard they have worked and the dedication that they have towards their chosen social issue and charity.

"We are delighted that Niamh and Erin were able to win £3,000 for Starter Packs Inverclyde and the girls have shown in their presentation the positive impact that this charity will be able to contribute to our local community with this money."

St Columba's Chaplain Father Gerry McNellis and previous winners Isla Rodgers and Rebecca Jess made up the judging panel.

More than 250 schools in Scotland will complete YPI this academic year. Since it was launched in Scotland by The Wood Foundation in 2008, it has empowered more than 230,000 young people to make a difference in their communities, granting in excess of £5m to local charities addressing a range of social issues.

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