Workshop: Case Study - G-Nation bucks stereotypes of youth

Francois Le Goff


The G-Nation awards are a competition run as part of G-week, Giving Nation's annual week-long campaign to promote and reward charitable giving in schools.

This year's prizes included a trip to India to visit a Save the Children project. The prize was won by a Gloucestershire school that raised £11,500 for Christian overseas charity the Philippine Trust.


Young people are often perceived as self-centred, spending their money on clothing labels and the latest gadgets. But the findings of a survey carried out by Giving Nation ahead of G-week 2004 suggested that this reputation is undeserved.

When asked how much they would give to charity if they were given £500, only 16 per cent of the 8,000 young people surveyed on youth website claimed they would keep it all for themselves, while 57 per cent of them said they would give away at least £250.

Now in its second year, G-week aims to harness young people's generosity through charitable activities arranged in schools. This year's event was organised in partnership with Save the Children.

Schools taking part in G-week were invited to enter the G-Nation awards, a competition offering prizes of up to £1,000 for the 11 best initiatives and a trip to India to visit one of Save the Children's projects.

How it worked

The competition was promoted on youth websites and, and by sending information packs to secondary schools. It received a considerable publicity boost after pupils from last year's winning school, Brine Leas in Cheshire, toured the UK to promote the awards on local radio and talk about their visit to a Red Cross project in South Africa.

Award entries were judged through the summer by a panel made up of charities and last year's winners. Schools could either compose a written diary of their charitable activities and compete for cash prizes, or produce a video diary and try their luck at winning a trip to India.

Pupils of Dyce Academy, a secondary school in Aberdeen, raised money for several charities, including the Children's Hospice Association Scotland, in memory of a schoolmate who died from cancer. Their activities included car washing, a teachers' fitness contest, and a 'smiley day' in memory of their friend.

In Wales, Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School raised £3,255 for local charity Help a South Wales Child through a 24-hour bike ride, games such as Splat the Teacher and sponsored leg-waxing for boys.

Other participants included the Channel School, a comprehensive school near Folkestone, Kent, whose pupils helped a local environmental group to collect rubbish on the South Downs.


Giving Nation estimates that around 500 schools took part in this year's G-week - up from 400 in the previous year.

Eleven schools were invited to Downing Street on 12 October to receive their prizes. Each school voted best initiative in its region won a cash prize of up to £1,000 awarded by pop idols Liberty X and Miquita Oliver and Government ministers David Milliband, Fiona Mactaggart and John Healey.

Dyce Academy came out on top.

Pupils from Stroud High School in Gloucestershire won the video diary award and will travel to India in February for 10 days. The 920 pupils were given £1 each by the school and were asked to at least double that amount. They raised £11,500 for the Philippine Trust.

The school has already set a new challenge for next year's competition: cycling around Britain taking photographs in each county for a calendar to raise more funds.

John Healey MP, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: "The Giving Nation awards demonstrate the commitment that so many young people have to supporting charity. It challenges the myth that too often links young people with anti-social behaviour".

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