One of the key focuses of our Club is to provide opportunities for young folk in our community to develop their skills and themselves. One such young person is Innes Bending, (pictured above with Past President, Brian McKay). At the age of 16, in 2015, Innes decided that she wanted to 'put something back' and to help others whilst also improving herself. She identified Project Trust and applied to them to be a part of their team. She was initially selected to go to Peru to help provide social care in an orphanage. Later, this was changed to teaching children English in an orphanage in Honduras. However, to take part, Innes had to raise £6,000 through her own initiatives. She undertook all sorts of fundraising activities, including an approach to our Rotary Club. We were happy to help with a small donation.
After completing her 12 month stint Innes visited our Club to tell us all about her experiences as part of Project Trust. She gave a polished and confident presentation and left us all mightily impressed. From our point of view she proved the benefit of helping young people succeed.
In addition to helping people like Innes to pursue development opportunties like this, we also send one or two young people to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp near Aviemore, to spend a week in summer using the outdoors to develop their leadership skills. We also send one young person each year on a Euroschola visit to Strasbourg, where they can visit the European Parliament and even have the opportunity to take part in debates in the Parliament Chamber.
For younger children, we organise the Primary School Quiz, to which all of the Primary Schools (10 of them) in our area are invited. This provides children of P6 and P7 age with the opportunity to test their knowledge on a wide variety of topics in a competitive, but safe, environment. The winners go forward to a regional final, with the opportunity to progress further to the national final. Pictured below are the winners of the 2017 heat.
Returning to older pupils, each year we organise a Young Chef of the Year competition at McLaren High School. Again the winner goes forward to a regional final with the chance of going to the national final. In this endeavour we have been helped on a number of occassions by local Michelin Star chef, Nick Nairn.
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An award to recognise a McLaren High School pupil who, during the previous 12 months, has had to show incredible commitment to overcome a variety of obstacles in order to achieve their results or progress at school.more