Media release: Pitch perfect pupils scoop charity cash

ABERDEEN pupils secured thousands of pounds for a local centre providing support and therapy to people affected by Multiple Sclerosis.

S4 students at Robert Gordon’s College scooped £3,000 for charity Grampian MS Therapy Centre through their participation in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

The pupils had to pitch the background on their chosen charity and the work they do to help people across the North East. During the pitch, teams highlighted issues the charity currently faced and presented a killer idea on how the money would benefit them.

Winning team leader and S4 pupil Daniel Craig said: “The centre is a truly remarkable place filled with remarkable people. This money will help take this already extraordinary facility to a new level of service in the community. The great thing about the YPI experience is that the centre began the week in the heart of one member and finished in the heart of every member.”

Eileen Matthews, manager of the Grampian MS Therapy Centre, commented: “We congratulate Daniel, Scott, Benji, Sophie, Emily, Emer and Bruce on producing a professional and informative pitch. The money will go a long way to benefiting our visitors here in the Dyce centre where we will now be able to purchase a hoist.

“The remainder of the money will go towards buying a new bed. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the pupils for supporting us and hope that we in return have provided a valuable learning experience outwith the classroom.”

Impressing the judges with their passionate pitch, Elaine Manley, YPI facilitator, added: “The Judges based their award on best use of £3,000 and use of personal experience. They commented on how all teams spoke from the heart.

“The scheme provides the experience to appreciate a different aspect of life. The opportunity is life-changing and can hugely benefit smaller charities. I see the competition grow year-on-year and this year has been no different with the teams thoroughly researching their charities whether they are already have a direct connection or otherwise.”

Mrs Phyllis Thomson, head of S2 and S3 and YPI co-ordinator at Robert Gordon’s College, said: “During the week, one team engaged a local business to work with their chosen charity longer term, another developed an improved website for their charity.

“These are good examples of long term impact resulting from their YPI research and encouraging continued collaboration with local businesses and charities beyond the competition.”

The judges were blown away with the compelling presentations from the six finalists. Local businessman Mathew Finnie (Gordonian) and Solicitor Elaine Farquharson-Black (Burness Paull & Williamsons) were joined by retiring teachers Mr Tom Cumming (Head of Modern Languages) and Mr Graham Sangster (Principal Teacher of Physics) on the panel.

Mr Hugh Ouston, head of Robert Gordon’s College, commented: “Our pupils always enjoy working with local charities.  This is just one of the many ways in which our pupils are involved in the life of the local community, which has benefits for everyone concerned. We are very grateful for the support of the Wood Family Trust in this important experience for the S4 pupils.”

The team consisted of Daniel Craig (16 years-old from Aberdeen), Scott Gray (16 years-old from Aberdeen), Benji Osugo (15 years-old from Aberdeen), Sophie Wardle (16 years-old from Inverurie), Emily Alexander (16 years-old from Kintore), Emer Cunningham (16 years-old from Aberdeen) and Bruce Sorbie (16 years-old from Aberdeen).

The competition aims to encourage teamwork and to raise awareness of charities across the North East. Pupils were divided into 27 teams and battled to win money for their chosen charity. The £3,000 was donated by the Wood Family Trust, which funds the scheme across Scotland.


Media contact:

Shelley Lee,, 01224 611239

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Contact: Shelley Lee