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‘Fantastic’ Kirriemuir pupils secure thousands of pounds for local dementia charity

The winning team with Gail Robertson from Kirrie Connections.
The winning team with Gail Robertson from Kirrie Connections.

A team of first year pupils at Webster’s High School have successfully secured a £3,000 grant for a local dementia charity after impressing judges with their passionate presentation.

Pupils at the Kirriemuir school took part in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) – a project which enables them to work in teams to win a grant for a charity in their local area.

This year’s YPI saw 20 teams at Webster’s put forward presentations, with six going through to the remote final held yesterday (Wednesday).

The judging panel – which included Roger McGill, financial director of JD Wilkie, Laura Law, chair of the school’s parent council and councillor Angus McMillan Douglas – eventually chose team 1P1 as overall winners.

The successful team of pupils, Isla Kidd, Zara Kidd, Zoey Morgan, Zoe Elertowicz and Ellen McNicol, opted for Kirrie Connections as their chosen charity.

Kirrie Connections is a community hub that serves as the base for the Dementia Friendly Kirriemuir Project.

Pupil care and support teacher, Laura Sturrock, said: “The way the YPI works is that they have to look at social issues that are pertinent in their local area.

“The reason the girls went down the Kirrie Connections line is because they have all been effected by dementia in some way, through grandparents or great-grandparents.

“This project, for them, seemed a good one and it’s located within the local community.”

In order to win the grant, the team had to produce a “passionate and impactful” presentation on the work their chosen charity does in the community.

This involved communicating with the organisation to set up interviews and discussions to find out more about how they operate. The work was all done remotely due to Covid-19.

And this, Ms Sturrock explained, gave the pupils key skills that they can take forward in years to come.

The winning team are Zara Kidd, Zoe Elertowicz, Isla Kidd & Zoey Morgan (Ellen McNicol is the 5th member of the team but was off sick so not pictured).

She said: “They started working remotely from home, contacting their charities through email and phone calls.

“They learned technical and creativity skills, but also talking and interviewing people which some young people might struggle with.

“These will be skills they will need for life – this project has really set them up.”

Development worker at Kirrie Connections, Jacqui Dillon, was also full of praise for the work the pupils have done and hailed the “fantastic” efforts of the winning team.

She said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been chosen and we’re really proud of the hard work the girls have put in.

“They have been so good with getting in touch, asking all the right questions and doing a lovely presentation.

“It was fantastic to see them engage with a project that is local to them. It’s been a really positive experience.”

The team have won a Youth Philanthropy competition, winning £3,000 for Kirrie Connections”.

Kirrie Connections is currently in the process of moving into a new premises which, all going to plan, should be ready for summer.

And with this in mind, the charity is planning on waiting until members can meet together in the new building before choosing what to put the money towards.

Jacqui said: “I think what we’ve decided is that once we can all meet again, we will put it to the members and ask what they want to spend it on.

“Because we are moving into a new building, there is so much scope.

“We want to add to the outdoor space so we might do something there, or they might just want a nice treat and we’ll go somewhere lovely.”

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