A CHARITY helping young people in East Lothian and Midlothian has received a special gift thanks to two committed students.

The Musselburgh-based Bridges Project will receive £3,000 after Elena Callander and Ruby Clark won over judges at North Berwick High School.

Pupils were challenged to represent a number of good causes through the school’s Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) competition.

Each group had to research a social issue and deliver a presentation, and Elena and Ruby ensured that the Bridges Project, which works with young people in East Lothian and Midlothian to help them manage the transition from adolescence to young adulthood, came out on top.

Elena said: “Taking part in the YPI challenge has been a rewarding and eye-opening experience and I am proud to have been able to make change in the local area.

“The Bridges Project is an admirable charity which has made many positive changes to the lives of young people in East Lothian.

“After speaking to the charity and doing research, they seemed like an obvious choice to support.

“Everyone we spoke to was so friendly and helpful, and the charity is very deserving of the money. I know they will put it to good use to help support many young people.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity and hope to continue to be able to support the charity in the future.”

Simen Holm, from the Bridges Project, was delighted with the four-figure funding sum and thanked Elena and Ruby for their efforts.

He said: “We’re honoured to be the charity these students chose to support.

“Bridges Project is a charity for young people and we’re therefore delighted to see that young people themselves recognise the work we do across East Lothian.

“Thanks to these students’ hard work, we will be able to purchase additional IT equipment for our new IT and education suite, which we will launch soon.

“This suite will provide digitally excluded young people with digital skills and access – the importance of which has very much been highlighted during the pandemic.”

Duncan Binnie, a teacher at North Berwick High School and who leads YPI there, praised the efforts of all those involved.

He said: “The quality of presentations was wonderful and they were all in aid of worthwhile causes.

“The winning team delivered a fun and uplifting presentation which captured the audience’s attention and demonstrated real commitment and personal involvement.”