THOUGHTFUL Gourock secondary school pupils helped raise money to buy special mementos for fellow young people coping with the death of a loved one.

Students at St Columba’s High purchased memory boxes and donated them to the Butterfly Project run by Ardgowan Hospice.

It came after they took part in the countrywide Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) competition and – despite missing out on a place in the finals  –  continued their work to help the Greenock charity.

The S3 pupils were inspired to do something for the hospice after being given a tour of the facilities by Janice Lee, child and family support worker, and Elaine McNeill, Ardgowan’s community development manager.

They showed the group around the Access Centre, including a special room which is used for support sessions with young people aged five to 25. Following the visit the students put together a short film of pictures and words for their presentation as part of the competition and it made a real impression on hospice staff, who were overwhelmed when they made the gesture of donating memory boxes.

Elaine said: “The group of pupils that we worked with were so enthusiastic and keen to help and are a credit to themselves and their school. They showed real compassion and interest in the services of Butterfly of Ardgowan and in helping others.

“We are so grateful to them for fundraising for us and their support will have a really positive impact on the lives of other children.”

Although they did not get through to the final the pupils were so impressed by the support given to youngsters that they were still keen to help the hospice and managed to raise enough money to pay for five special memory boxes.

Janice, who leads the Butterfly Project, said: “They are a really useful resource in our work with bereaved children and young people.

“They provide a special place to keep and store items that promote special memories and have particular significance to children and young people in maintaining connection with their special person who have died.

“During our one-to-one work, children and young people share stories and memories about their special person allowing them to accept and make sense of what has happened.”

The memory boxes cost £15.50 each and are valued by those who receive them and is something that they will have forever and they can add to in the future.

Pupil Liam McCabe said: “We’ve learned a lot about what the charity does and how it helps young people like us and we thought it was a nice thing to do.”

Classmate Brogan Duffy says they felt they had to support the hospice after seeing first-hand the great work of the staff and volunteers.

She said: “We were inspired to do something after learning about the Butterfly Project and what it does to support children and young people who are bereaved.”

The students were praised by their school’s principal teacher of technical education, Greg Starling.