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Perth teens win £3k donation for local mental health charity to deliver drop-in sessions for secondary pupils

Perth High School pupils Paddy Trotter, Matthew Sandler, Adam Fairlie and Alex Cook secured £3000 for the Lighthouse for Perth charity.
Perth High School pupils Paddy Trotter, Matthew Sandler, Adam Fairlie and Alex Cook secured £3000 for the Lighthouse for Perth charity.

Four Perthshire teenagers have won a £3000 donation to allow a local mental health charity to deliver drop-in sessions to school pupils across the city.

The S3 pupils at Perth High School pitched why their chosen charity, the Lighthouse for Perth, should be granted funding from the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

Adam Fairlie, recruited friends Paddy Trotter, Alex Cook and Matthew Sandler to help secure the cash prize for the mental health charity following the bereavement of a family member.

The charity offers support to anyone aged 12 and over who is at risk, or is struggling with, issues relating to suicide and self-harm.

Drop in mental health sessions

It is hoped the crisis centre can use the funds to offer drop-in sessions to secondary school pupils across Perth and Kinross.

The kind-hearted boys worked during lockdown to create a pitch on behalf of the charity.

They then competed against fellow third year pupils at the school on Friday to convince a panel of local councillors, school representatives and a local chaplain, why the Lighthouse deserves the funds.

Fifteen-year-old Adam said he is “delighted” to have won the funding for a charity so close to his heart.

Pupils Paddy, Matthew, Adam and Alex were presented with the winners cheque after pitching their charity to a community panel of judges which included councillors Liz Barrett and Sheila McCole.

He hoped to shine a light on the work the organisation does to support those who are struggling with their mental health.

While Alex, 14, said: “The charity will really appreciate the money and it will be put to really good use so we’re pleased to win it for them.”

It is the school’s seventh year participating in the YPI scheme which challenges pupils to support and fundraise for local charities in an effort to secure funding.

Supported charities ‘despite challenges of lockdown’

Lockdown and remote learning made the task challenging this year, however a group of around 30 S3 pupils were keen to represent local charities.

And while pupils who selected Perthshire charities Mindspace, Harbour Counselling and C200 missed out on the prize, the school hopes to continue supporting the organizations.

Deputy head teacher Colin Murray said: “We’re delighted that the YPI grant has been able to go to a local charity this year by a group of young people determined to see this through despite the challenges of lockdown.

“It’s their resilience that has allowed that £3000 to be channelled into something so close to everyone’s hearts in the local community.

 “They have shown that the young people of Perth High School are really passionate about representing the school and caring for their local community.”

Colin Murray, deputy head teacher.

“They have shown that the young people of Perth High School are really passionate about representing the school and caring for their local community.”

Heather McLaren, the school’s YPI coordinator, said: “They have shown a lot of passion for the charities and they have gone above and beyond what was expected of them.

“The presentations were of such a high standard that the judges found it so difficult to decide.

“They should be really proud of themselves and the school is very proud of all the pupils who took part.”

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