Guest blog: YPI Participants break the £1 million mark
18 January 2013
December 2012 marked a crucial milestone for the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative in the UK. Last week, YPI grants to grassroots charities across the UK broke the £1 million mark for the first time. YPI was launched in England in 2006 under the guidance of the Institute for Philanthropy with Teach First Ambassador James Townsend as Director and has retained a strong seem of Teach First Ambassadors running through it ever since as well as close affiliations with many Teach First schools across England. It has expanded from one school in London to 85 schools across England, 81 in Scotland and five in Northern Ireland in its launch year.
These past six years have seen young people in the UK identify causes they want to fight for and champion those charities within their own communities that commit their time and efforts to that cause. Thanks to the passion, compassion, and dedication of these young people, YPI has been able to channel hundreds of grants of £3,000 to those grassroots social charities local to the participants that dearly need their support.
On 13th December 2012, pupils, staff and charity representatives were celebrating YPI’s milestone achievements at Lampton School in Hounslow, whilst the following day a similar celebratory event was taking part north of the border at Banchory Academy, Aberdeenshire.
The significance of this milestone is clear as National and Local government further restrict the funding to charities delivering crucial services to their community. Talking to many of the charities represented by YPI Participants, their financial and personnel resources are suffering at this time but that the efforts and engagement shown by YPI participants is invaluable as charities are forced to develop a wider support base in their community and young people provide the longest term solution to that problem.
Kudzai, a Year 10 student from Lampton School who is currently participating on the YPI programme, says: "YPI helped me to understand that there are people right here in my local community working tirelessly to bring about change and do the right thing. Most people my age look at our community and struggle to find inspiration but I've learnt that there are people right here in Hounslow working hard to make a difference and that's inspired me to try and do what I can."
Stories such as Kudzai’s are not uncommon and represent a capacity for compassion in the younger generation that all too often goes unrecognised. The Huffington Post have recognised the importance of philanthropy education in young people in an article published just before Christmas last year.
As YPI in the UK moves through that £1 million barrier, we of course look forward to many more millions of pounds donated in years to come but crucially many thousands more young people committing their time, talent, and creativity to fight for causes important to them in their communities. Here’s to the next stage of YPI’s growth in the UK.
Youth and Philanthropy Initiative England
Youth and Philanthropy Initiative England is just one initiative that involves Teach First ambassadors. Currently 33 social enterprises have been started by ambassadors, and many more are involved in working towards the vision in different social enterprises and charities.
Find out more about our ambassador community.