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Keith Grammar School pupils win £4000 for Abbie's Sparkle in YPI event


By Jonathan Clark

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A GROUP of pupils from Keith Grammar School have beaten off nationwide competition to win £4000 for a local charity.

Cassie Findlay (15), Katie Dunbar (15), Siobhan Donnison (14) and Megan Stewart (14), all now fourth year students, started their Youth Philanthropy Initiative project before lockdown and decided to focus on Abbie's Sparkle Foundation.

Cameron & Tammy Main accept a cheque for £4000 for the Abbie's Sparkle Foundation from Keith Grammar School pupils (left to right) Katie Dunbar, Megan Stewart, Cassie Findlay and Siobhan Donnison as part of the YPI excercise. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Cameron & Tammy Main accept a cheque for £4000 for the Abbie's Sparkle Foundation from Keith Grammar School pupils (left to right) Katie Dunbar, Megan Stewart, Cassie Findlay and Siobhan Donnison as part of the YPI excercise. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Pupils taking part in the initiative have to research a charitable organisation of their choice and make a case it receiving funding on offer.

Usually, the winners from each school are awarded £3000 to give to their charity, but with lockdown enforced this year's competition went nationwide – with the funding awarded bumped up to £4000.

The group were determined to win, despite increased difficulty in working during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cassie Findlay said: "The story of Abbie's Sparkle is great and it is a worthy cause – it touched us all.

"We were all determined to win the money for them.

"The competition took place online and it was for all over Scotland, with everyone who entered wanting to win as much as they could.

"The initiative definitely works. We have been able to work together and it has made us more aware of charities in our community.

"Abbie's Sparkle will use the money for the upkeep of their lodge and for trips for the children. They can't have fundraisers at the moment either, so it's also just a general boost to funds."

Abbie's Sparkle Foundation supports children with cancer across the United Kingdom.

The charity was set up by teenage cancer sufferer Abbie Main before she died on Christmas Day in 2017.

Tammy Main, Abbie's mother, who is now charity manager, said: "We were absolutely delighted to hear that our YPI group from Keith Grammar School won a fantastic £4000 with their presentation representing Abbie’s Sparkle Foundation. We would like to thank Katie, Megan, Siobhan and Cassie for choosing to tell Abbie’s story and share awareness of her legacy.

"The girls were unable to present in person so we thought the opportunity was lost, but they produced individual videos that were put together for their final presentation.

"We were blown away to hear that we were chosen out of more than 90 groups. We are so proud of Abbie, her sparkles and this team. This support means even more right now while opportunities to fundraise are limited."

Kevin Pirie, deputy head at Keith Grammar School, said the school was "delighted" with its pupils.

He added: "It's fair to say the school is very proud of these girls. They are very good representatives of Keith Grammar School.

"They have had to adapt to all sorts of situations and have been incredibly resilient. They have represented the values of our school and we are delighted with them."

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