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9 July, 2007

National school week to celebrate charity gets under way

G-week 2007 is here, celebrating the contribution that young people have made to charities and their communities throughout the past school year. In G-week last year schools awarded 2500 Giving Nation certificates to young people who had inspired their communities to support a range of causes from voluntary local services to major national and international charities.

Many schools will also be entering the Giving Nation awards, which highlight the impact of their work for charities through fundraising, campaigning, and establishing social enterprises. Schools entering the 2007 awards have the chance of travelling with Sightsavers through Kenya to find out how the international charity works to prevent and cure blindness.

Last year's award-winners from Torry Academy in Aberdeen and the Kings Mill School in Driffield won a week working with the National Trust at the beautiful Stackpole Centre on the Welsh coast to find ways of making the centre as accessible as possible to everybody while protecting the environment.

'G-week is a time for recognising the impact the charitable support that schools give, which is increasingly led by young people choosing their charities and ways to support them,' said Andy Thornton, Director of the Participation and Social Action team at the Citizenship Foundation. 'This builds up habits and loyalties to charities that in the long-term could lead to a more generous society.'

Students from Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise School, one of the teams taking part this year, organised the 'Laisterdyke Bollywood Extravaganza' this June, planned to coincide with the International Indian Film Academy Awards in Sheffield. As well as providing a cash boost to Oxfam's work, they created a fundraising event that brought people together from across their community. A student from the school commented: 'This event is really important because it brings Muslims, Christians and Hindus all together. The people have come here today to be part of the community.'

Further information

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Notes for editors:

Giving Nation (G-Nation) is a platform for young people, via their schools, to give a voice to new and existing charitable activities they undertake and aims to boost young people’s awareness and understanding of the role of charity within the UK. www.g-nation.co.uk

G-Week 9 - 13 July 2007 is a national celebration of young people’s fundraising, volunteering and campaigning activities, when hundreds of schools will reflect on the value and impact of their charity-related work and/or participate in charitable activities.

Giving Nation is a programme of the Citizenship Foundation, an independent charity that aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, the Citizenship Foundation focuses particularly on developing young people's citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding. The Foundation's work, across the UK and internationally, includes resources, training, active learning, community projects and research.

The Giving Nation School Awards programme will bring eight award-winning schools together on a great day out in London at a special award ceremony, and the top school will win the opportunity to take four students to Kenya with the charity Sightsavers.

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