YPI Scotland

SEP is one of the network of committed likeminded funding partners which supports the sustainability and growth of YPI. In this blog its Chief Operating Officer Catherine Simpson talks about the importance of investing in #generationchange and local communities in this way.

Why does SEP support YPI?

We became a local funding partner for YPI in 2017, attracted by its active citizenship programme and the dual benefits that this presents, through upskilling young people whilst also supporting local charities and communities.  Our funding has helped the development and growth of YPI across Glasgow and we’ve been delighted to attend several launch events and finals over the last few years, experiencing first-hand the engagement with community groups and the enthusiasm for tackling local issues that the programme has facilitated.

Why does SEP believe it is important to invest in young people?

We are a growth equity firm and firmly believe that there is a direct correlation between business responsibility and business growth. We are keen to encourage the next generation of good corporate citizens and YPI enables us to do this.  More than 20 schools participate in Glasgow each year, with 6000 young people benefitting since we started our relationship with YPI. Each of those young people learns about their local community and about their own abilities as a product of YPI. YPI encourages empathy, leadership, responsibility, communication, and problem solving – all attributes that can make young people more employable, more entrepreneurial, and more empowered to find solutions for local social issues.

This has been a year which has hastened the pace of change across many walks of life. What has impressed you about the adaptability of school communities?

Despite the significant disruption brought about by Covid-19, we are pleased that schools have continued to prioritise YPI as a core activity within the curriculum, committing staff time and engaging year groups in the programme at a time when local community need is arguably greater than ever. We’ve been really impressed with how well YPI has adapted to digital deployment with staff and students embracing the student launch video, online research, remote collaboration, and virtual finals.

During your involvement with YPI, what has impressed you about young people?

They care about their local communities and they can be incredibly creative in convincing a judging panel as to why their chosen charity is deserving of a £3,000 cheque! We’ve experienced some fantastic pitches utilising dance, music, multi-media skills, and emotion to full effect. For us as funding partners it is exciting to see the part that YPI is playing in developing these transferable skills and helping shape #generationchange.