Duke Of Edinburgh project leader full of praise for youngsters at awards event
INSPIRATIONAL youngsters were praised for their dedication to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
This year, 126 young people from across North East Lincolnshire took part in the scheme and took home bronze and silver awards.
They were pushed and challenged to achieve the accolade, run in partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council's Young People's Support Services, which they hope will secure them places at university, apprenticeships and eventually full-time work.
Sue Campbell, project lead for the DoE, described them as "truly talented and inspirational" at the award ceremony at Grimsby Town Hall.
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She said: "It has been absolutely amazing. We have given more awards than ever. These young people are an inspirational bunch.
"It is a massive tribute to the staff, volunteers and supporters of all these young people."
To achieve a silver award, youngsters were tasked with two nights camping in Derbyshire, plus an activity in volunteering, skill and physical categories.
The bronze required one night camping in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
Thirty youngsters with learning and physical disabilities took part in the Challenge Award, which was also presented.
Isaac Smith, 16, from Toll Bar Academy, said: "It was the best experience of my life. I would do it a million times over. I learned a lot, especially how to stay away from my X-Box!"
Georgia Taylor, 19, now studies Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Sheffield. She achieved her silver DoE after teaching others Japanese.
She said: "It really pushed me to find out what I can do. It was great to teach other people because I remember learning it and how difficult it was. I would definitely recommend others to do the DoE."
Emilie Peaker, 14, from Cordeaux Specialist Engineering College, achieved her bronze. She volunteered at Rainbows, completed first aid and went to the gym.
She said: "I made a lot of friends. It was hard work but it feels good I got my bronze."
Aaran Smith, 21, has cerebral palsy and goes to Linkage College. He achieved his Challenge Award for making a film about the project which was then shown to the audience of proud parents.
He said: "I feel very proud. I made a lot of new friends and developed new skills."
Deputy manager for disability services for charity, Care for All, Anne O'Flinn, heads the Challenge Awards. She said: "The ethos for the Challenge Awards is the same as DoE. It enabled them to experience all the different activities in a way comfortable to them.
"It gives them great personal achievement, they make new friends and push their personal boundaries. They leave with great self esteem and pride."
Award winners in full
Sectional certificates BRONZE
Sectional Certificates GOLD
Challenge Awards BRONZE
Challenge Awards SILVER
Harry Cecil Smith
Challenge Awards GOLD
Duke of Edinburgh Award Certificates BRONZE
John Paul Mortin
Duke of Edinburgh Award Certificates SILVER
THE Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the world’s leading achievement award for young people.
The charity was established in 1956 and says it “aims to create a world where young people aged 14 to 24 can reach their full potential whatever their circumstances”.
A spokesman said: “Our ethos is to enable every young person of every background to do their DofE and succeed, regardless of any barriers.
“We provide a balanced programme of activities that develops the whole person – mind, body and soul – in an environment of social interaction and team-working. Young people progress through three levels of DofE programmes to achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.
“Taking part builds confidence and develops self-esteem. It requires persistence, commitment and has a lasting impact on the attitudes and outlook of all young people who do their DofE.
“Demand continues to rise year on year - you can read our latest statistics here. We have ambitious plans for growth and development and we look forward to working with all our partners to make our goals a reality.”
Here are the most recent statistics, for 2011-12...
Participants – about 275,000
New starters – 211,900
Awards achieved – 92,194
Social value of young people’s volunteering activities - more than £21 million
DofE centres –– 10,874
Leaders/volunteers – about 45,000
Social value of volunteers’ activities - £15 million
Awards achieved since 1956 in the UK – 2,145,283
Number of participants globally – 850,000
Number of countries running DofE programmes – more than 140
Participants since 1956 globally – more than 8 million
Current number of volunteers globally - more than 190,000
To get involved in the scheme, visit www.dofe.org or call 01472 323212.