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CalMac backs west coast youth development projects

Young people in coastal communities are set to benefit from a new CalMac partnership that aims to build new life skills while supporting local charities.

The west coast ferry operator has committed to The Wood Foundation's Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) and will be supporting its delivery in 11 schools across its area of operations. YPI is an active citizenship programme that empowers young people to make a difference in their local communities while developing new skills.  

Pupils from participating schools form teams to research social issues in their area and the charities working to address them. They then make a case for their chosen charity as to why they should receive a £3000 grant to help with their work.

Launching the partnership at St Columba's High School in Gourock, CalMac's Director of Human Resources, Christine Roberts said:   'We are constantly looking for ways that we can become even more involved in the communities we support and the twin aims of YPI in developing the skills of young people and supporting local charities addressing real social issues was a great fit for us.'

As part of its support CalMac staff will have an opportunity to mentor young people throughout the project's delivery.

'From a personal development point of view YPI gives our staff the opportunity to share their skills and get involved with a project that will ultimately benefit their own community,' said Christine

Ultimately supporting YPI gives us a chance to make positive impacts by empowering young people to make a real difference where they live.'

Launch of YPI

Picture shows: Last year's winning YPI team from St Columba's High School, Gourock with CalMac's Director of HR, Christine Roberts and the Wood Foundation's Deputy Director, Jonathan Christie at the partnership launch.

Taking part in the programme builds students' team work skills and confidence, improves presentation and project planning skills and gets them involved more in their local community. More than 170,000 young people from across the country have taken part in YPI since it was introduced in Scotland in 2008.

Alex Reid, National Coordinator at YPI, said: 'The support of likeminded partners such as CalMac supports the sustainability, growth and impact of YPI. 'We are delighted to welcome CalMac and thank them for committing to the young people and wider community causes of this region by embarking upon this unique form of delegated charitable giving.'

Last year CalMac's 33-strong fleet carried more than 5.3 million passengers and 1.4 million vehicles to 50 ports and slipways on island and remote mainland locations.

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