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15 October, 2008

Celebrating young people who want to change the world

On Wednesday 15th October teenagers from eight UK schools will be recognised with Giving Nation awards for outstanding commitment to charity and community action, at the event hosted by HM Treasury. The 42 teenagers and their schools will be presented with awards by Kevin Brennan, newly appointed Minister for the Third Sector, at the ceremony.

If each secondary school student in the UK donated just £5 and just 5 hours of their time each year to a charitable cause they would generate over 25 million voluntary hours and £25million in fundraising.  It would be the equivalent of over 12,000 full-time jobs and an annual donation of £131 for every UK charity. 

This is exactly the revolution the Giving Nation programme of the Citizenship Foundation aims to achieve someday through its ongoing practical support of charitable and social action in secondary schools across the UK. Today teenagers from eight UK schools will be recognised with Giving Nation awards for outstanding commitment to charity and community action, at the event hosted by HM Treasury.

he 42 teenagers and their schools will be presented with awards by Kevin Brennan, newly appointed Minister for the Third Sector, at the ceremony.  The school charity teams were selected from entries from across the UK in the Citizenship Foundation’s Giving Nation Awards programme. 

Giving Nation actively supports and promotes the actions of young Britons to make a difference through charity, volunteering, social enterprise and campaigning action through schools.   The programme is supported with funding from the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). The Citizenship Foundation, an independent education and participation charity, will present each regional winner with £1,000 for future charity activity in the school along with their school award at the ceremony.   One overall winner, the Rushcliffe School from Nottingham, will be presented with the Giving Nation national award 2008.   

Each year the national award winning school is given the life-changing opportunity to spend a week supporting the work of a charity in the U.K or overseas.  This year a group of students and teachers from Rushcliffe Comprehensive School will travel with Giving Nation’s charity partner for 2008 the Rainforest Foundation UK, to support work protecting the rainforests of Cameroon and the wellbeing and livelihoods of its people.  

On winning the award Bex Bailey, aged 15, a key member of national winner Rushcliffe Comprehensive’s charity team commented:  

"We have power as young people. Through campaigning and fundraising, we can change lives; we can save lives.  We are lucky to have access to education and the support to raise money for charities and it is only right that we should use that opportunity to help others. I just love the idea that I can make a difference, everyone can. Our work as a charity team is really important to us, so being recognised through the Giving Nation programme for our efforts is simply a brilliant bonus 

The eight winning schools receiving awards in today’s ceremony raised a staggering, combined £140,000 in the last academic year.  They effectively campaigned for a multitude of causes and dedicated time as volunteers to over 120 charities locally, nationally and globally.  

Anna Reid, Giving Nation programme director and a 2008 judge said:

“The 2008 award recipients are beacons for schools across the UK. They are each potent examples of just how much difference one school community can make. They epitomise what Giving Nation works to encourage and support in schools across Britain and it is wonderful for us to recognise their outstanding achievements through our awards.”

 Anna went on to highlight: 

“The online diaries compiled by each of the winning schools documents a journey of transformation.  You can literally watch the groups of students, supported by dedicated staff, transform into highly effective charity activists and campaigners.   Each school has clearly demonstrated that by harnessing the skills, knowledge, passion and motivation of a group of young people you can achieve outstanding results that are beneficial to causes and charities on a local, national and global level.”  

To enter the awards, schools compiled comprehensive year long diaries on the Giving Nation website (www.g-nation.co.uk).  The Giving Nation online diary tool enables schools to document and showcase all their goals, initiatives and actions across volunteering, campaigning, social enterprise and fundraising as a school community.

Further information

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