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December 12th 2023

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) is delivered in 280 schools across Scotland and all secondary schools in Shetland. YPI is a programme that empowers young people to make a difference in their local communities while developing a range of skills.

Each participating school is responsible for directing a grant of £3000 to a local charity championed by its young people through teamwork, research, and competition. Since the programme was launched in Scotland in 2008, more than 310,000 young people have been responsible for granting £6.8 million to small grassroots charities. In Shetland, YPI has been running for the past 9 years. This year will be the first year in which VAS will be supporting the local delivery, enabling local support to schools throughout the academic year.

Lucia Giuntoli (left, YPI) and Lavinia Schmidt (right, VAS) delivering the YPI launch at Whalsay School.

Lavinia Schmidt, Youth Volunteer Development Worker at VAS said:

“We at Voluntary Action Shetland have been a big supporter of the initiative for many years as it creates such great links between young people and the third sector and offers a mutual benefit for everyone involved. I’m looking forward to the year ahead and getting to see more of the amazing work schools and pupils will be taking part in to raise awareness and funds for local causes.”

Lucia Giuntoli, YPI Partnerships Manager, said:

“As part of our commitment to schools, we value in-person relationships which help to maximise the benefits of the programme. To facilitate this in remote regions, we are delighted to work alongside a network of local third sector experts including VAS.”

The YPI central team works closely with TSIs (Third Sector Interfaces) from the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland, as well as visiting the regions annually.

In November, YPI and VAS visited almost all of the secondary schools across Shetland to support the schools with getting started in this year’s initiative. This included a launch of the programme to secondary 3 pupils in Aith and Whalsay.

The Wood Foundation has partnered with Arven Offshore Wind to support the growth and sustainability of YPI in Shetland for 2023/24. Arven will engage with schools throughout this academic year and provide much needed funds to charities in Shetland.

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