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Arven becomes Community Partner for Youth and Philanthropy Initiative in Shetland schools

YPI Partnerships Manager

01 December 2023

Arven Offshore Wind Farm (“Arven”), a 2.3GW floating offshore wind development to be located around 30km off the east coast of Mainland Shetland, is proud to be this year’s Community Partner of The Wood Foundation’s Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) in Shetland. The programme is designed to encourage and nurture a greater connection between young people and their communities.

The YPI is the largest active citizenship programme being delivered through Scottish education. Through teamwork and research, participants will deliver a presentation on their chosen community cause in a bid to secure their school’s £3,000 grant for it.

In the new year, the YPI Final Showcase for each school will award the prize to the pupil group that demonstrates the best understanding of a social issue, presents a compelling business case and outlines a clear plan for maximising use of the funding locally.

The winners will then compete at the YPI National Event in Scotland where they will represent Shetland and their chosen charity. During last year’s programme, four S4 pupils from Brae High School travelled to Perth for the YPI National Event, supporting their chosen charity, the Compass Centre.

Since its introduction to Scotland in 2008 by The Wood Foundation, YPI has empowered more than 310,000 young people in more than 280 secondary schools nationwide to make a difference in their communities.

Arven is committed to making a positive difference within the Shetland community. By partnering with YPI to support secondary schools across Shetland, the project helps young people to gain a stronger understanding of social issues in their communities, and the role local charities play in addressing them.

Aaron Priest, Stakeholder Manager at Arven Offshore Wind Farm, said: “Currently at an early phase of its development, Arven wants to root our project in the community, whether that be continuing our early meaningful engagement with the local fishing industry or actively supporting a focused range of groups and causes. Our current initiatives, including YPI and Shetland Sail Training, reflect our ambition to shape a new legacy for offshore wind in Shetland where sustainable development and community interest go hand in hand.

“Our funding partnership with YPI not only highlights our confidence in the younger generation’s ability to address community needsbut also aims to empower young leaders to back good causes that directly help their communities.

“Through meaningful partnerships like this, we can support positive development in Shetland and ensure lasting benefits for Shetland.”

Lucia Giuntoli, YPI Partnerships Manager at The Wood Foundation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Arven as our funding partner in Shetland. This vital support empowers young people to make a real difference to the charities doing vital work in the local area –not only through the funding secured but raising awareness of the social issues they are tackling.”

Catherine Bradley, YPI Lead Teacher at Anderson High School, one of the participating schools in Shetland, said: “Since enrolling with YPI in 2017, Anderson High students have enjoyed exciting opportunities to engage with charities, develop communication skills and explore social issues within their local community. The experiences that YPI offer have proven invaluable in building confidence, research, and cooperative skills at a critical stage in a child’s development –while also having fun in the process.

“We are looking forward to embarking upon this year’s programme and what the young people will achieve. It is great to have Arven supporting the programme here in Shetland.”

Ellie Leslie, S3 pupil at Anderson High School who has previously taken part in YPI, said: “I found YPI exciting and something different to do in our English class. It improved my teamwork skills and my presentation skills. In addition, I also enjoyed being in contact with charities and finding out what was happening in the local community. It was also a lot of fun!

”The judging panel the final showcase at each school will include the head teacher, a Community Partner representative, and other local community members

Lucia Giuntoli, YPI Partnerships Manager
Lucia Giuntoli, YPI Partnerships Manager at The Wood Foundation, Aaron Priest, Stakeholder Manager at Arven Offshore Wind Farm and Cheryl Cluness, Acting Principal English Teacher at Anderson High School alongside some of the young people participating in this year’s YPI programme.

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