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16 October, 2008

Kevin Brennan, New Minister for Third Sector Awards Giving Nation Winners 2008

On 15th October the outstanding commitment of forty two young people to charity, campaigning, community and social enterprise were celebrated at the 2008 Giving Nation Awards at HM Treasury. Kevin Brennan, Minister for the Third Sector presented the charity teams from eight U.K schools with their awards.

Rushcliffe Comprehensive School, winners of G-Nation Awards

Winning charity teams were selected from entries from schools around the UK through the Citizenship Foundation's Giving Nation Awards programme. Giving Nation supports the actions of young Britons to make a difference through charity, volunteering, social enterprise and campaigning action through schools and in their local communities. The project also actively promotes the vast array of actions of young people to make a difference.

 See photographer's images from the event here


"From Space Hopper relays to sponsored dog walks. From letter writing campaigns demanding the closure of Guantanamo Bay to candle lit walks in support of the people of Darfur, the actions and the causes our winning schools have supported this year are of exceptional range and quality. The common thread of all of our winners: a true passion, real determination and commitment by young people to take action and care." Felicity Tyson, Communications Officer and judge of the 2008 awards explained.

The winning charity teams were selected from over 90 entries to the 2008 awards by a panel of judges from the Citizenship Foundation and the Rainforest Foundation, the Giving Nation charity partner for 2008.The Westminster event brought together teenagers from around the U.K, MPs, corporate supporters and representatives from top U.K charities to celebrate their achievements.

As the Giving Nation charity partner for 2009, The Rainforest Foundation will provide the award for one national winning school. The prize: a trip to Cameroon to support the charity's work protecting the rainforest, rights, well-being and livelihoods of its people. This years' main winners are students from Rushcliffe Comprehensive School who will travel to the rainforests of Cameroon in 2009 to support the work of the Rainforest Foundation.

Bex Bailey, a student from the national award winning team explained:

"Being here today has finally made our amazing trip to save the rainforest real! It is fantastic to be here, sharing fundraising and campaigning ideas with people from so many different schools and celebrating every thing that we've all achieved. There are lots of things in the world that aren't right but we think it's important that we try to make things better. Changing the world may seem like a big ambition but if every one gets involved in all these different actions, it is impossible to believe we can't bring about change!"

This is the second time Bex Bailey has won an award from the Citizenship Foundation. In 2008 she was joint winner of the Press Officer award in the National Youth Parliament Competition.

One of the key aims of the ceremony is to bring charities, MPs, ministers, teachers and students from different areas together to learn from each other's experiences and exchange ideas.

Alan Millar, teacher at Torry Academy Aberdeen, national winners for Scotland said:

"The Giving Nation award and ceremony are great external recognition for all the months of hard work of Torry Academy students. One of my students, Cameron said to me as we were leaving the ceremony: ‘That's it, this year we're pulling out all the stops!' and given how enthusiastic they were about exchanging ideas with different schools, I believe we've got an amazing year of supporting charities and campaigns ahead of us."

To enter the awards, schools compile year long diaries on the Giving Nation website (www.g-nation.co.uk) documenting all their goals, initiatives and actions across volunteering, campaigning, social enterprise and fundraising as a school community.

Giving Nation is supported with funding from the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

For more information on entering the Giving Nation Awards visit www.g-nation.co.uk or contact Felicity Tyson.


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