COMMUNITY-minded students have used their powers of persuasion to secure £3000 for a charity which supports people with mental health problems.
Five teams at Glen Urquhart High School in Drumnadrochit pitched for a range of charities in the finals of the school’s Youth and Philanthropy Initiative.
The team representing Birchwood Highland, which promotes mental health recovery, was judged to be the winner by a four-strong panel of judges.
The charity will use the money to provide laptop computers and Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) toolboxes for people with mental health problems experiencing social isolation particularly in rural areas.
The other charities represented in the final were the Archie Foundation, Guide Dogs Scotland, Befrienders Highland and Sight Action. It is the third year running the school has taken part in the international scheme which aims to raise awareness among young people about philanthropy. The programme was initiated in Canada by the Toskan Casale Foundation and is managed and mainly funded in Scotland by the Wood Foundation.
English teacher Kay Storey, who oversees the initiative at Glen Urquhart High, said all S3 pupils had taken part.
"In teams, they have been researching social problems in our community and creating an engaging and persuasive presentation on a local charity they believe is best placed to tackle an issue they are passionate about," she explained.
The initial 11 teams were whittled down to five whose members gave their presentations in front of a large audience and a panel of judges. Ms Storey praised the standard of the presentations.
The winning team comprised Millie Beech, Cameron McAtier, Ross Campbell and Hamish Reid.
"We chose Birchwood Highland for our charity as mental illness is such a big issue in the Highlands," said 14-year-old Millie. "It doesn’t get much funding from the NHS and could use the money. We like the things they do and their motto is ‘inclusion and recovery’. We went into this not really knowing much the charity but have learnt so much."