A CANCER support charity in Elderslie is £3,000 better off, thanks to a caring group of secondary school pupils.

Rays of Hope was chosen by the winners of a competition organised in partnership with the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) Scotland.

Eight teams of S3 pupils from Renfrew High who are studying Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS) battled it out to win the cash for their chosen charity.

The winning team of Denver Muir, Emma Wilson, Hayley Cook and Rebekka White won the cash after giving a presentation in front of a judging panel that included three of their fellow pupils, as well as Renfrew High headteacher Billy Burke and YPI regional facilitator Alistair Cairns.

Katie Rutherford, RMPS and history teacher, said: “It was such a fantastic night and each of our groups gave an amazing presentation to the judges.

“I think the winning team were chosen because their presentation was really emotive and they researched the charity really well.

“They had spent time with the charity over the bank holiday weekend and saw the work it does, so they really went the extra mile.”

Around 18 pupils were involved in the final round of presentations, representing good causes such as Lamont Farm, Renfrewshire Women’s Aid and Sikhs in Scotland.

Katie added: “I think what the kids got out of taking part in this project is that they’re part of a wider community and the actions they take can be really beneficial to others.

“The teams learned so much about local charities – and it doesn’t have to stop there, as they can now go on to volunteer or fundraise for them in their own time.”

Rays of Hope, which also won the Carers Award at the 2021 Provost’s Community Awards, intends to use the funds to help build an extension to its hub in Byres Road, Elderslie.

Linda O’Malley, founder of Rays of Hope, said: “The girls were so passionate about the charity and I’m sure that’s how they won the competition.

“We’re so proud of the girls for what they’ve done and are delighted that they chose our charity to be the recipient of the £3,000.”

“This money will probably go towards our building extension funds, which will allow us to provide other activities for the members who come here.”

For more information, visit Rays of Hope.