Inspiring students recognised by Giving Nation awards
Students from eight secondary schools and alternative education settings were recognised at the Giving Nation Social Action Awards, held at HM Treasury last month.
The awards celebrate some of the most inspirational examples of giving amongst young people in secondary education, as part of Giving Nation’s aim to inform young people about the charity and voluntary sector and challenge them to contribute to causes they feel passionately about. Giving Nation is a project of the education and participation charity the Citizenship Foundation, and funded by the Cabinet Office, Santander and the Social Action Fund.
Category winners received a £500 prize from Santander, which has a three year partnership with the Citizenship Foundation to ensure more schools are able to participate and continue their charitable activities.
Sharon Squire, head of CSR at Santander said: "Giving Nation is a fantastic scheme that helps students gain experience of running a social enterprise and co-ordinating campaigns and fundraising. This not only helps young people to gain practical skills and develop their employability but it also gives them a better understanding of charities, social issues and their community whilst having fun."
Students from Queen Elizabeth's Girls' School, who won the Giving Video award with their campaign to highlight the issue of childhood depression, will also travel to India to experience the work of Raleigh International, Giving Nation's charity partner for this year.
One student said: "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. We are so grateful for this unbelievable opportunity to experience a charity at work rather than just reading about them."
The other categories, and winners, were:
- Giving Nation Challenge: Netherthorpe School, Derbyshire for a series of projects which included making and selling bath bombs, organising an Indian Summer evening, running a Christmas disco, cooking events and sponsored walks which raised £2,400.
- Giving Nation Spirit: Sandgate School, Cumbria for pupils with severe or profound learning needs ran a Benches4all project which aimed to raise funds to buy a bench for their local community gardens. Students held a jubilee tea party and sold cream tea boxes. In total they raised £258.
- Fundraising: Sutton Grammar School for Boys undertook a 10km walk across eight London Bridges. Over £1,000 was raised for PEAS (providing equality in African schools).
- Social Enterprise:Willowfield, Waltham Forrest students tackled the human rights issues faced by people working in clothes factories. Students formed Willowfield Uniform Movement, making and selling badges to support Action Aid.
- Awareness Campaigning: Coopers Technology College, Bromley students ran a 'Having a Good Day' campaign that aimed to raise awareness of mental health issues. Posters were put up and films released via YouTube reaching over 1000 people.
- Volunteering: Catcote School, Hartlepool is a school for students with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. Students wanted to tackle negative perceptions of young people and decided to volunteer at a local home for the elderly. The one-off event has turned into regular visits and time spent at the old people's centre.
- Give More: recognises student pledges to support others. Garforth Academy, West Yorkshire and STEPS Centre, Somerset were joint winners.
For five years Giving Nation has worked with over 600 schools and alternate education settings, with 200,000 students. These young people have volunteered over one million hours and raised nearly £850,000 to support 2,500 charities and good causes through the provision of seed capital, training and resources.