News Item: 29 October, 2012

Young people awarded for outstanding commitment to charity

On Thursday, students from seven schools were awarded for the social action projects they run. Each team received a cheque for £500, presented at the Treasury by Lord Wallace of Saltaire.

Netherthorpe School, Giving Nation Awards winner 2012
Netherthorpe School, Giving Nation Challenge winner 2012, with Lord Wallace of Saltaire

The Giving Nation awards are for outstanding commitment to charitable activities and social action.

27,000 11-16 year-olds are involved in the Giving Nation programme, despite recent concern from the Charities Aid Foundation that young people are responsible for a 'giving crisis'.

It seems young people are actually giving rather a lot, even if they're not giving money.

Students from seven UK secondary schools and alternative education settings were at the Treasury for the Giving Nation awards, which were presented by Lord Wallace of Saltaire.

Students from Queen Elizabeth's Girls' School won a video competition with their campaign to highlight the issue of childhood depression. They will travel to India to experience the work of Raleigh International, Giving Nation's charity prize partner this year.

'When we were told that we had won the Giving Nation video award we were proud and speechless that all our hard work had paid off,' one student said.

'We are so grateful for this unbelievable opportunity to experience a charity at work rather than just reading about them.'

The winners

Netherthorpe School, Derbyshire
Giving Nation Challenge Award

The school ran a number of projects throughout the school year. These included making and selling bath bombs, organising an Indian Summer entertainment evening, running a Christmas disco, cooking events and sponsored walks. They raised nearly £10,000

Sandgate School, Cumbria
Giving Nation Spirit Award

Sandgate is an special educational needs school for pupils with severe or profound learning needs. Students ran Benches4all, a project that raised funds for a bench or picnic table for their local community gardens. Students held a jubilee tea party and sold cream team boxes. They raised £258.

Willowfield College, Waltham Forrest
Social Enterprise Award

Students decided to support Action Aid and tackle the human rights issues faced by people working in clothes factories. Students formed WUM - Willowfield Uniform Movement, they made and sold badges to support their cause.

Coopers Technology College, Bromley
Awareness Campaign Award

Students ran a campaign called ‘Having a Good Day' that aimed to raise awareness of mental health issues. A number of booklets, presentations and short films were created. Posters were put up in their local community and films released via YouTube. Overall the campaigned reached more than 1000 people.

Catcote School, Hartlepool
Volunteering Award

Catcote is a community special school catering for students with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. Students wanted to tackle negative perceptions of young people, so they volunteered at a local home for the elderly. They promoted it through radio interviews and articles in their local newspaper.

Sutton Grammar School, Sutton
Fundraising Award

Students undertook a 10km walk taking them across 8 London Bridges, over £1,000 was raised for the charity Peas (Promoting Equality in African Schools).

Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet
Giving Video Competition winner

Students ran a campaign to raise awareness about childhood depression. Activities included: creating a Facebook page, making a video, writing a chant and performing it around school and carrying out assemblies.

For the past five years, Giving Nation has worked with over 600 schools and alternate education settings.

200,000 students have volunteered over one million hours. They have raised nearly £850,000 to support 2,500 charities and good causes.

The annual award ceremony recognises and celebrates some of the most inspirational examples of giving amongst young people in secondary education.

Each winning school was awarded £500 prize from Santander to continue their charitable activities.

Giving Nation is funded by the Cabinet Office, Santander and the Social Action Fund. It helps young people understand about charities and the voluntary sector and challenges them to give time, effort and energy to support the causes they feel passionately about.

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