Aboyne Academy pupils take part in YPI National Event

The largest gathering of pupils from across Scotland has returned after a three-year hiatus, addressing issues such as mental health, bereavement, and food poverty.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 7:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 7:55 am
Aboyne Academy pupils taught the crowd British Sign Language. (Pic: Michal Wachucik/Abermedia)
Aboyne Academy pupils taught the crowd British Sign Language. (Pic: Michal Wachucik/Abermedia)

More than 700 young people involved in The Wood Foundation’s Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) celebrated their achievements in raising awareness and funds for local charities at Perth Concert Hall.

They were joined by delegates from the education, third, and public sectors for an afternoon of inspirational talks, performances, and music.

Students from 12 schools – including Aboyne Academy – took to the stage to represent the issues they secured YPI grants for and shared what they have achieved through the programme, as well as challenging their peers to consider how they will continue their own philanthropy.

Pupils from Aboyne Academy taught the crowd British Sign Language, before a dance performance featuring sign language.

Leah was one of the dancers. She said: “It was a bit nerve-wracking to be on stage in front of that many people but once you’re doing it, it actually was enjoyable.”

Sir Ian Wood KT GBE, Chairman of The Wood Foundation, said: “It has undoubtedly been a very challenging two years, especially for young people. It was heartening to see how well they have continued to thrive and fully embrace the opportunities of YPI. The event really highlighted why YPI is so important.

“Philanthropy is about caring, using time and skills to make a difference. This was clear to see at the National Event and gives us a great degree of hope for the future.”

The theme of this year’s event was #whyYPI, exploring how the programme has empowered students, schools, communities, and partners. The keynote speakers were entrepreneurs Jordan Butler of Heavy Sound and Sameeha Rehman of Ubuntu. Entertainment was provided by Ben Walker.

YPI, an active citizenship programme, was introduced to Scotland in 2008 by The Wood Foundation. In the region of 270,000 young people have been empowered and the programme is currently active in 250 Scottish secondary schools.