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Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI)

Young people and charities tackling social issues in our coastal communities are benefitting from CalMac's partnership that aims to build new life skills with support from CalMac employees.  

Caledonian MacBrayne are partners to the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative at 10 Clyde and Hebrides secondary schools. YPI is an active citizenship programme which empowers young people to make a difference in their community about causes which they care about deeply. Through a unique programme of teamwork, research and competition, an entire year group takes part, and one team is chosen to secure an award of £3,000 for a local cause at a YPI final.   

CalMac colleagues engage in the programme as judges at YPI finals and support the young participants journey through the programme as mentors, by: 

  • Enhancing the pupils understanding of their chosen social issue. 

  • Providing advice on presenting the seriousness of their social issue and its impact on their community. 

  • Sharing guidance on how to approach a charity and what questions they would need to ask to build an effective and impactful business case 

  • Developing and encouraging effective presentation and communication skills to ensure their presentation at the YPI final excelled. 

Since 2019 30 CalMac colleagues have supported YPI engaging with 2,360 students to tackle social issues such as mental health, health and poverty.  

YPI Student, commented: "YPI has helped improve my team-working and presentation skills and helped me become more informed about our local community. It has also helped improve my confidence overall and particularly my confidence in sharing my opinions and views with other people." 

Tricia Harwood, HR Business Partner at CalMac: "The interaction with the school and young people was enriching, especially hearing why the young people chose the charity and to see their passion and determination through their teamwork and presentation skills. It was an excellent experience to advise, support and guide, I would definitely recommend the opportunity to anyone." 

In academic year 2021/22, 777 west coast young people engaged in YPI and secured 10 awards for local causes. 

Campbeltown Grammar School Mairi Semple Fund 
Castlebay Community School Uist and Barra Foodbank 
Inverclyde Academy Action for Children 
Mallaig High SchoolEwen's Room 
Oban High School Oban Hospice 
Sgoil Lionacleit Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative 
Sir E Scott School Western Isles Womens Aid 
St Columba's High School Starter Packs Inverclyde 
The Nicolson Institute Western Isles Womens Aid 
Ullapool High School ASSYNT Community Care 


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.'

Rhianna Oban YPI

Picture shows: Oban Deputy Port Manager Rhianna McMahon with Oban High's winning YPI team .

CalMac and YPI are looking forward to engaging with more young people this year.



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