School Prince’s Trust team boost cause

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Enterprising students from Ripon Grammar have raised more than £1,000 to increase opportunities for vulnerable young people throughout Yorkshire and the UK.

The Prince’s Trust team of 15 students led by sixth former Natasha Lovel came up with a host of novel money-making ideas, including making jewellery and crafts for their Christmas fair and selling personalised hoodies bearing the school crest to fellow students.

They also gave a presentation about their fundraising to local Rotary clubs, who were so impressed that, as well as donating to the Prince’s Trust, they offered to sponsor two of the students on a youth leadership course.

Natasha, who plans to study English and history at university, said students, who secured charity discounts on orders and sourced free packaging for their products, picked up valuable new skills.

“We learnt so much from talking to businesses and sending formal emails, as well as how to negotiate on price. Our school community has now also developed a closer connection with Ripon businesses and local Rotary clubs as a result.”

She said her team, aged 14 to 16 years old, felt it was important to help others not as fortunate as them to pick up similar skills and gain training opportunities through the Prince’s Trust scheme.

The Prince’s Trust, which was founded by Prince Charles 42 years ago, needs to raise £1.5m every week to help 70,000 people aged 11-30 years old throughout the UK, including 3,000 in Yorkshire, every year.

Yorkshire and Humberside operations manager Bjorn Risi told students at a school assembly: “We offer young people the chance to develop the confidence and skills they need to live, earn and learn. We believe when our young people succeed our country succeeds.”

He said the RGS students’ fundraising was a fantastic achievement: “We can’t do what we do without this sort of fundraising. We need everyone’s help in order to make a difference. And we hope students get something out of it as well.”

RGS enterprise co-ordinator Bob Walker praised the students’ hard work and determination: “They worked brilliantly as a team and inspired others, including students lower down the school, to continue fundraising for this very worthy cause.”

Natasha and her team present a cheque for more than £1,000 to Bjorn Risi.