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Talented Fundraisers in action

18 August 2022

St Kessogs Primary - Balloch - Talented Fundraisers - cover

We chatted to Michael Rainey, a former Technical Teacher and Depute Head, who discusses how two West Dunbartonshire schools put their faith and talents into action through the SCIAF Talented Fundraisers scheme.

The Talented Fundraisers scheme entrusts young people with £50 to invest in their very own enterprise. Using their gifts, talents and time, they increase that investment by as much as they can. All the money is then returned to SCIAF to support our work providing long term development and emergency help to people around the world.

"Each school started with a reading from Scripture, the Parable of the Talents, to emphasise that each young person is a unique individual created by God with unique talents that can be nurtured and developed. We also discussed the theme of ‘Loving thy neighbour’ and the importance of improving your own community to benefit society as a whole."

The young people from the P7 classes of St Michael’s and St Kessog’s Primaries came up with plans for how best to put their talents to use and raise as much money as possible for SCIAF’s work across the globe.

St Kessogs Primary - Balloch - Talented Fundraisers 1

Together, supported by Michael, each school decided that they would make and sell bird boxes and clocks - a tried and tested project.

Michael tells us: 

"Various aspects of running a small business were discussed: planning, costing, manufacturing and advertising. ‘Green issues’ were a priority, so wherever possible, recycled materials would be used.

"Everything was meticulously planned; the wood was sourced from various local businesses who were willing to donate their off-cuts – saving them from ending up in landfill; clocks were made from old records, CDs, and DVDs which were donated by the pupils’ families. The pupils worked on their products one afternoon per week for several months – this was an excellent opportunity for the pupils to learn how to use the tools they needed to build creations that they had designed themselves."

As additional items were purchased, the pupils received receipts and invoices so they could keep a set of accounts – another crucial skill in business.

The next step was marketing. Posters were made and texts sent to parents, with each school adopting a slightly different approach.

The pupils were very enthusiastic to sell their boxes and clocks, and explain to their parents and others how and why they made the items.

St. Michael’s sold their products after weekend Masses. Fr Vincent Toal was very supportive and suggested that we sell them at the back of the church. Pupils manned the stalls.

The pupils of St Kessog’s opted to sell their products at the end of the school day in their hall. They also made a PowerPoint presentation and delivered it at their weekly assembly.

The two schools were delighted to raise over £700 in profit! St Michael’s made £362 St Kessog’s made £350. This money will make a huge difference to our sisters and brothers in our programme countries. Thank you to Michael and all pupils involved for using their talents for the greater good.

Talented fundraisers - st kessogs balloch - primary school pupils

Michael loves that the scheme is not just about making money – it’s also about engaging with young people.

He said:

"This scheme is vehicle for youngsters to put their faith into action and to share that with their families, their parishes and their wider community. It is an excellent opportunity for pupils to gain a greater appreciation of their role within society and to ‘love thy Neighbour’."

Keep an eye out for next year’s projects - Nativity Scenes and clock decorations will be on sale just in time for Christmas.

We look forward to hearing what ideas your school will come up with!

To sign up your school please contact or call 0141 354 5555 to find our more.