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Every year students from Fettes College get involved with the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI). Due to circumstances this term, YPI changed their submission requirements and a new initiative was created - Your Community Fund - awarding up to 50 local charitable grants focused on supporting the COVID-19 response at a community level. Fettes College students created and submitted 3 grant proposals and we are delighted to announce that one was successful! 

Three 5th form students Zoe M, Jess N and Phoebe MB have secured £4000 of funding for Cyrenians Fareshare(Cyrenians serves those on the edge, working with people at risk of becoming homeless and supporting them to transform their lives ).

We asked Zoe, Jess and Phoebe for a little more information: 

"YCF gave us the opportunity to continue working on a philanthropist project that, pre-COVID, would have been part of our Post-iGCSE programme (YPI). The competition was a voluntary activity which required us to become acquainted with a charity of our choice and compete to obtain a prize fund of £4,000 from The Wood Foundation for the chosen charity. 

Upon trying to find a charity to support, we felt an immediate admiration of Cyrenians after researching their fantastic work and chatting with one of their representatives, Ali Kerr. Cyrenians have multiple projects, ranging from combatting homelessness and food insecurity to working with the isolated elderly in Edinburgh; however, the prize fund we were granted is being directed toward their Outreach Projects, which work to help those with a street-based lifestyle face-to-face; establishing a rapport between the volunteer and service user – furthering the development of their lives away from homelessness.  

We felt that the fund should be put into Cyrenians’ Outreach Projects as we think this will make the biggest difference to the people Cyrenians help during the ongoing pandemic. The Outreach projects work with the most vulnerable in the community, supporting those currently homeless or sleeping rough by building relationships and persevering to reach out after the initial issue has been resolved. Due to the virus, people who were rough sleeping have been displaced from their street-based lifestyle into hotel accommodation. This community of over 200 individuals have now had at least 2 months of support and have began to build relationships with the team who have been supporting them with access to medical care, addiction recovery support and food parcels. This work will continue as this community leave the accommodation following lockdown and the fund will aid in supporting them into settled accommodation where possible or back onto the street if that is their choice. It will also fund their work with people in temporary accommodation, who find themselves displaying symptoms of Coronavirus but due to the overcrowding in their accommodation cannot self-isolate. These individuals will be redirected to their newly established temporary care hub in Edinburgh’s city centre. Additionally, food parcels for people who are rough sleeping or in temporary accommodation will be supported by the fund as well as the taxis or car hire used in delivering this. This keeps the volunteers off public transport and as safe as possible. Finally, the grant will go towards providing PPE for this outstanding group of volunteers, allowing them to keep themselves safe as well as the people they are helping. 

Unfortunately, we were not able to volunteer with the charity at present due to the current situation with COVID regulations. However, we all intend on working with them again once we are all in Edinburgh and when regulations enable this."

Massive congratulations to all our students that got involved with each submission. A huge amount of time and work went into each project. Well done to everyone.