People with a learning disability in Northern Ireland will benefit to the tune of £3,000 as a result of the creative, compassionate and committed students at Oakgrove Integrated College, Derry~Londonderry.
The Year 9 students took part in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative, which aims to create the next generation of passionate and committed philanthropists by providing real life experiences of charitable giving – and won.
Working as a team, the students had to identify the social needs of the local community and select a charity that best addressed their chosen issue. Having interviewed staff and beneficiaries they pitched their ideas to a tough ‘Dragon’s Den’ style judging panel where they beat their competitors to win the £3,000 donation for their chosen charity – Mencap.
Receiving the students’ donation, Geoffrey Hunter Mencap’s locality manager for Derry said, “Our vision is of a world where people with a learning disability, their families and carers have the same quality of life and opportunities as everyone else. Many people with a learning disability will benefit from this tremendous donation.
“On behalf of Mencap and everyone we support, I would like to thank all the Year 9 students who by their creativity, diligence and passion made this incredible donation possible.”
Paying tribute to her students, Oakgrove principal Jill Markham said, “ I am proud of and delighted for all of the students who took part in the YPI. At Oakgrove we pride ourselves on our relationships with the local and wider community and hope that this donation will go some way towards helping many families and carers affected by learning disabilities”
Handing over the cheque, Morgan Stewart, who took part in the competition said, “We have learnt a lot from taking part in the YPI project and we’re delighted that our chosen charity has won the school final.”