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17 September, 2007

Giving Nation Award Winners Announced

A team of students at Felpham Community College in Bognor Regis, West Sussex was today announced overall winner of the Citizenship Foundation’s Giving Nation Awards for outstanding charity and campaigning work. The school’s charity team has won the chance to travel to Kenya to experience the work of Sightsavers International, a leading U.K. charity who work with local partners to prevent and cure blindness. Felpham Community College is one of nine schools around the U.K. who will be presented with awards for commitment to charity, volunteering and campaigning action at an awards ceremony at HM Treasury in October.

To enter the awards, teams of students create an online diary on the G-Nation website describing all the charitable activity, volunteering and campaigning activities organised at their school throughout the year. Regional winning schools are awarded with grants of up to £1,000 towards further charitable activity at the school and the main winners win the chance to spend a week directly experiencing the work of a charity in the U.K or overseas.

Speaking on behalf of the judges, judging panel member and Websites Editor, Felicity Tyson from the Citizenship Foundation commented:

“The impressive quality of entries this year reveals just how many young people in U.K schools are using their creativity, determination and passion to make a difference. This year we are rewarding some truly outstanding young people. Through their actions to involve the whole school and local community in fundraising and awareness-raising on a range of issues from HIV to Dystonia the charity team at Felpham are unquestionably inspiring leaders of this greater movement to get involved in charity, community and campaigning action.”

In February 2008 the student team from Felpham will travel through Kenya experiencing how the work of Sightsavers International, preventing and curing blindness and supporting those who are visually impaired, has a truly life-changing impact on individuals, their families and their communities. Whilst in Kenya, they will visit Sightsavers projects and will also work with a group of Kenyan school children on a cross-cultural arts project.

Speaking about the prize, Jo Mitchell, Schools Development Manager from Sightsavers International commented: "This visit is an amazing opportunity for the students of Felpham to learn about the lives of their peers in rural and urban Kenya. Visiting local projects and schools will also demonstrate how the work of international charities, like Sightsavers, is visibly improving people's lives. This valuable experience should help the students in planning and developing campaigns to support their favourite charities in the future."

The schools will be presented with their awards at a ceremony at the Treasury on Monday 29th October.

The Giving Nation schools programme promotes and supports young people’s learning and engagement in charitable activity, volunteering and campaigning through free school resources, an online awards programme and a website for young people and teachers at www.g-nation.co.uk

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