'Keep Giving Nation going!' says People's Strictly star Heather
Heather Parsons, former Citizenship Foundation colleague and a star of BBC One's The People's Strictly for Comic Relief, has joined the clamour to save our Giving Nation programme of social action in schools.
Giving Nation has helped well over a quarter of a million young people give their time, energy and voice to improve other people's lives.
We give pupils critical skills for and knowledge of civic society, and help them progress to schemes such as the Government's National Citizen Service.
But funding is drying up and Giving Nation is in danger.
For 12 years, Government funding made Giving Nation a strong secondary school programme that got out more than it put in. Last year alone, for every £4 of that funding young people generated £5 for good causes and gave up four hours of their free time to help others.
But, in the face of hard choices, the Government has decided not re-invest in Giving Nation. And, given the current climate, other funding streams are drying up too.
So, we were delighted when Heather Parsons popped into the office in her glad rags to show her support.
'It's imperative that we enable our young people to develop their confidence and skills whilst experiencing the huge joy of knowing they did something really positive and important,' she said.
And Heather's in good company. We are thrilled to see that more than 500 people have signed a petition by Oxfordshire teacher Julie Stuart-Thompson to express how important Giving Nation is to them.
Here are just some of the things they have been saying:
'I work within a school and can see first hand the impact this programme has. it would be a shame to lose this!'
Angela Dawson, Cranleigh
'[Giving Nation] helped me learn about the importance of various communication skills and on how important supporting charities and making charity related events really is.'
'Giving Nation has been running in our school for three years now. Each year students have made a difference to their local and national communities ... supported brilliantly by the Giving Nation resources and staff. It would be such a great shame if this was to stop. 'Our students love working on Giving Nation and it has really helped to raise their awareness of the world outside of our school front door.'
Katy Nichols, Lutterworth
'We have been using Giving Nation with year 7 since it started it is an excellent way of giving them an understanding of Active Citizenship and getting them Active. We need young people to be more active in the community.'
Rachel Cooper, West Bridgford
'I am a charity CEO and feel that we must do everything we can to encourage humanitarian action, global citizenship and the passion to make a positive difference to the lives of others.'
Ian Rideout, Ardersier