Stirling Champ fundraising for volunteering gap year

A young man has credited his involvement in Stirling’s Champions Board with giving him the confidence to embark on a gap year volunteering in Ghana prior to starting at university.

Group photo of the Stirling Champs. Leo Weir is pictured in the centre
Leo Weir (pictured centre) on a group outing with the Stirling Champs

Leo Weir, an S6 pupil at Stirling High School is heading over to West Africa to teach English in September later this year through Project Trust and is fundraising to help meet his living expenses while in the country.

Stirling Champions Board is comprised of young people cared for or supported by the council, including those in foster, residential or kinship care.

Leo, who recently received a conditional offer to attend Strathclyde University to study Civil Engineering, was referred to Stirling Champs over a year ago. He has since gone on to become a co-chair of the Champions Board. In his role he helps to advocate for care experienced young people in Stirling.

The Stirling Champs held a fundraising event to coincide with International Care Day, raising £448 towards his target of £3,500 and have created a GoFundMe page to support his efforts.

'Like a second family'

Leo said: “The Champs have become like a second family to me in the time that I’ve been with them. They’ve really helped me to come out of my shell and I feel like I have a strong network of people who I can talk to and relate to.

“Project Trust came to my school to talk about doing a gap year abroad and the idea really appealed to me. I’m looking to gain some further life skills and experience living independently before taking on the responsibility of university.

“I honestly think I wouldn’t have been as confident to have reached for certain goals, even putting myself forward for this gap year and uni without the support of the Champs.”

Children and Young People Convener Cllr Margaret Brisley said: “Leo’s a real credit to both his school and the Stirling Champions Board putting himself forward to volunteer abroad before starting university.

“The Champs offer a reminder of our responsibilities as a corporate parent to care experienced children and young people in Stirling to ensure that they are loved, supported and given ample opportunity to achieve their goals in life.”

You can support Leo’s fundraiser at