Sir Ian Wood celebrated with students at Banchory Academy last week as they granted £3000 to a local charity marking the £1million milestone for the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) in the UK.
YPI is operated and funded in Scotland by the Wood Family Trust and aims to encourage young people to think about prominent social issues and build strong partnerships with local charities.
Sir Ian Wood, chairman of the Wood Family Trust, said: “YPI is an outstanding and rewarding UK schools project.
“It has now distributed £1m to a large range of small charities across the country, but what has proven more important is the impact it has on the young people involved who get their first exposure to the many problems faced by their communities and the role philanthropy can play.”
Banchory Academy was the very first Scottish school to complete the YPI programme when it was piloted in 2008/09.
Sir Ian Wood said it was fitting that they should be involved in the million-pound milestone celebrations.
Niall Ritchie, Banchory Academy, principal teacher of guidance added: “Our students have gained a great deal from YPI over the last five years.
“Now firmly established within our S5 PSE curriculum, YPI has provided young people with many opportunities to link up with local charities, whilst developing a range of invaluable life skills in the process.
“Our recent ‘Tartan Day’ charities event at school raised an additional £4000 for local charities being supported through the YPI programme, and our most recent HMIE Inspection highlighted the impact YPI has on leadership and enterprise skill development.”
The Wood Family Trust piloted YPI in Scotland in 10 secondary schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire four years ago.
This year YPI will be delivered to over 10,000 students in 80 secondary schools across 10 local authorities in Scotland, and will award grants totalling £240,000 to local Scottish charities.
In England and Northern Ireland, YPI is delivered in 90 secondary schools by the Institute for Philanthropy.
Across the UK, YPI has engaged over 54,000 young people who have helped secure grants for hundreds of local charities.
The YPI programme was originally launched in Toronto in 2002 by MAC Cosmetics founder and philanthropist, Julie Toskan Casale, before expanding to the UK in 2007.