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Ullapool High School pupils pull in £3000 boost for RNLI Lochinver team through Youth and Philanthropy Initiative run by Wood Foundation

By Hector MacKenzie

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Millie, Poppy, Fionn and Lewin from the winning team, together with Joe Mackay fromthe Lochinver lifeboat crew and staff from Ullapool High School.
Millie, Poppy, Fionn and Lewin from the winning team, together with Joe Mackay fromthe Lochinver lifeboat crew and staff from Ullapool High School.

PUPILS at a Wester Ross secondary have gifted local lifesavers a welcome early Christmas present thanks to their powers of persuation.

A team of S3 students from Ullapool High School secured a grant of £3000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

The group’s presentation detailing how the Lochinver lifeboat crew will be able to use the grant to continue saving lives in local waters saw them win the public final which was judged by Yvonne Boa, youth development officer for High Life Highland, Ewen Skehan of Skills Development Scotland and head teacher Robbie McFedries.

YPI is an active citizenship programme which empowers young people to make a difference in their community about causes which they care about deeply.

Through a unique programme of teamwork, research and competition, an entire year group takes part and just one team is chosen to secure the grant.

Millie Matheson, S3 pupil who was on the winning team, said: “We all live by the sea and you could easily get into trouble so that’s why we need the RNLI on standby!”

Other finalist charities were Ullapool Garden of Reflection, Outpost Highland for Veterans and Friends of Autism.

Rosemary O’Leary, YPI coordinator at Ullapool High School, said: “I have been so impressed with how our S3 pupils have thrown themselves into this project

with total enthusiasm and a willingness to try and improve the lives of others, in what has been a uniquely difficult year for charity fundraising, and in fact all of us, in different ways.”

YPI is the flagship initiative of The Wood Foundation. Deputy director Jonathan Christie congratulated the Ullapool pupils, adding: "YI is all about empowering and ngaging young people to understand their role within teir community and the ways in which they can make a difference while developing their own personal life skills.”

To date, Ullapool High School has generated £15,000 for local charities. 2020 has thrown up some unique challenges to the delivery of the programme but the pupils have risen to those challenges magnificently.

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