YPI Scotland

More than 38,500 young people have been empowered to be advocates for their communities, securing £828,000 pounds for charities the length and breadth of the country.

Through The Wood Foundation’s Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), which took place in 277 secondary schools, young people researched and represented causes including mental health, poverty, abuse, and support for those with health and disability conditions.

YPI is the biggest independent initiative being delivered in Scottish education. The active citizenship programme engages a full year-group within each school who learn about the needs of their communities and the work of local charities. The students work in teams to do in-depth research and develop a creative and convincing presentation in a bid to secure their school’s YPI grant of £3000.

Presentations at schools’ YPI Final Showcases this year have included performances in a game show format, spoken word pieces, poems, songs, raps, dance and gymnastic routines, as well as animation, digital, and video products. Each of the successful teams brought to life their social issue, the difference the charity makes, and the business case for the local impact of the £3000 grant.

Ali MacLachlan, UK Director at The Wood Foundation, said:

“We continue to be greatly impressed by the maturity, passion, resilience, and creativity young people display through YPI. Regardless of whether they secure the grant, every one of the tens of thousands of students who take part each year has the opportunity to learn more about their communities, their personal and collective roles in driving change, and the opportunity to advocate and raise awareness.

“The programme also provides a real-world learning experience which develops a host of skills, as well as contributing to the ethos and culture of a school and its connection to its community.”

YPI launched in Scotland in 2008 and this year marks its 15th anniversary. In that time, 310,000 students have taken responsibility for £6.8m of charitable giving.

Ali added:

“To be reflecting on 15 years of YPI is incredible. Those who completed the programme in its infancy are the workforce of today and we regularly meet inspirational third sector professionals whose first insight into charities was through YPI.

“The numbers of young people engaged and the value of the charity grants are extraordinary. When we consider the skills and experiences that the programme has afforded to these young people, as well as the potential ongoing impact, our passion for the programme is reignited. We are excited to continue delivering a programme which empowers real and lasting impact within our communities.”

The Wood Foundation, the venture philanthropic organisation established by Sir Ian Wood and his family, is the operational manager and principal funder of YPI in Scotland. The programme is also supported by a range of likeminded funding partners.