TWO determined schoolchildren have secured £3,000 for a community group aiming to boost mental health.

Lukas Berggren and Arlo Treacy were the winners of Dunbar Grammar School’s annual Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) before the Easter break.

Groups of S2 pupils at the school had to research a good cause before presenting their case to a panel of judges.

Lukas and Arlo won over the judges and secured the funding for Sustaining Dunbar and, in particular, the work at Belhaven Community Garden.

The duo’s focus was on the impact the community garden has had on a number of people with regards to their mental health.

Other good causes included Beach Wheelchairs North Berwick, Fostering Compassion, Dunbar Dementia Network and The Teapot Trust, with groups looking at social issues ranging from physical disabilities and dementia to mental health.

Paul Sutherland, principal teacher of health and wellbeing at the school, congratulated the two pupils on their success.

He said: “Lukas and Arlo’s knowledge and insight into what Belhaven Community Garden (BCG) does and how they support both hospital patients and members of our local community was a real strength of theirs.

“Their presentation skills were very strong and they were very passionate about the impact that BCG is having on our local community.

“They were able to clearly explain how they would use the £3,000 if they were to win as well as share their experiences of visiting the community garden.

“Their presentation was great and they were fully deserving of securing the £3,000 for a fantastic charity.”

Jo McNamara, chair of trustees at Sustaining Dunbar, described the news as “absolutely amazing”.

Sustaining Dunbar aims to bring people together to support new initiatives which create local jobs, help people cut their fuel bills and grow more food.

She said: “Naomi Barnes, who leads the garden project, was a teacher at the school.

“I think the garden is a brilliant project and Naomi has done a tremendous job there, really galvanising people and drawing in lots of volunteers.

“They are extending what the garden does in terms of things planted there and establishing the orchard.

“For some of the young people from The Ridge, who need more experience in horticulture, they can come down and work on the garden.

“They have now taken on the brewery garden at Belhaven Brewery as well.”