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26 October, 2007

Giving Nation Awards at Treasury

Nine Schools from around the UK will be awarded for their charity action at the Treasury on Monday 29 October at the Citizenship Foundation’s Giving Nation Awards for Charitable Action, celebrating what young people can achieve for charities and their local communities. Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector will be presenting the awards.

Felpham Community College in Sussex will be awarded the top prize, a trip to Kenya to experience the work of international development charity Sightsavers International as they work with local partners to prevent and cure blindness. Eight other schools will each pick up a regional award of £1,000 for schools to put towards future charity action or donate to a cause of their choosing.

To enter the awards, schools across the UK wrote diaries on the G-Nation website describing their charitable activity, volunteering and campaigning activities throughout the school year and the impact it had locally and internationally.

Andy Thornton, Director of Participation and Social Action spoke about the awards, saying, “These awards celebrate the very best of what schools do to help others outside their gates. School communities are a great microcosm of society and a great place to learn how we can build a stronger society through voluntary participation. Earlier this year the Giving Nation programme helped us to win our own international award as it was recognised by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation as a world leader in its field. The UK has much to be proud of in the way we are building a strong, fair and inclusive society, and these schools are shining examples of that.”

The team from Felpham will travel through Kenya experiencing how the work of charities like Sightsavers can have a truly life-changing impact on individuals and communities. They will also meet and work with Kenyan school children on a cross-cultural art project.

Speaking about the prize, Jo Mitchell, Schools Development Manager from Sightsavers International said “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 student's in planning and developing campaigns to support their favourite charities in the future."

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 web community at www.g-nation.co.uk

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