West Sussex Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards 2014

Date: 21 July 2014

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award

Duke of Edinburgh Awards 2014

On Sunday 13 July, Worth Abbey one hundred young people in West Sussex achieved the top Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award this year, and their achievement was recognised at a prestigious ceremony at Worth Abbey.

Hosted by Liz Bennett, Deputy Lieutenant, and Amanda Jupp, Chairman of West Sussex County Council, over 200 guests celebrated young peoples’ success in the award scheme.

Supported by the Youth Support and Development Service, over 75 centres are delivering DofE in West Sussex. These include schools, colleges, special schools, Open Award Centres and independent organisations.

Across the county, delivery success is well above national average, with young people’s’ participation increasing each year. It is thriving thanks to commitment from the County Council and strong leadership of staff and volunteers.

A culture of DofE is well established, reflected in progression through the levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold. Young people are so motivated by their Bronze experience, they progress to Silver and onto Gold.

The audience, including the High Sheriff, Mr Jonathan Lucas and Mrs Caroline Lucas, Cllrs Peter and Margaret Evans, Cllr Sue Mullins, Cllr Patricia Arculus, Cllr Debbie Kennard, Geoff Hurst – Operations Manager, South East Region DofE, and Carl Burton - Principal Manager, Children's Services, West Sussex Youth Support and Development Service were treated to a heartfelt presentation by Gold achiever, Michael King, 25, from Horsham. He described inner experiences from his canoeing expedition, via the Horsham Open DofE Centre. This was a particular challenge as Michael has a muscle wasting disease. He enthused the audience with his experiences, describing the self-confidence he has built as a result of teamwork.

For information on how to get involved in DofE in West Sussex, contact:

dyouth@westsussex.gov.uk or Pandora.Ellis@westsussex.gov.uk

Pandora Ellis – Projects and Partnerships Manager, Youth Support and Development Service.


“Meaningful support and verification ensures quality across the award sections; Physical, Volunteering, Skills and Expedition. This helps participants build character and resilience.”

Geoff Hurst, Operations Manager, South East Region DofE.

“Once again, the young people of West Sussex have proved themselves to be the leaders of the future. Attaining Gold in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme requires determination, tenacity and the ability to support others – a model for all young people to follow. Well done to all!”

Cllr Peter Evans, Cabinet Member for Children - Start of Life

“My memories are from the expedition and the adventures I had with my friends. We traversed along a waterfall and had amazing views of the hills in the Peak District. Gold has given me great experiences and friends for life. It has helped me become more organised and independent and it really helped me get into University.”

George Wilson, 18, Shoreham, completing Gold via Adur Activities Centre.

“I did volunteering at an Elephant sanctuary in Thailand. I’d never been so close to elephants before, so it was amazing to work with the, This was with volunteers from all over the world, so I built confidence through learning to communicate with them. I went on my own, so I had to be brave!”

Emily Pippard, 21 from Hayward Heath, completing Gold via Central College Sussex.

“In training, a member of my team got stuck in a peat bog. The Leaders showed us how to rescue him using a sleep mat and we worked as a team to get him out. I’m far more confident due to my volunteering role at my local Oxfam shop; helping customers and using the till.”

Claire Keech, 18 from Washington ,completing Gold via Steyning Grammar School.

“The Award Scheme wouldn’t happen without the volunteers who underpin its delivery. They provide valuable guidance, support and countless hours to help young people achieve.”

Liz Bennett, Deputy Lieutenant

“The Duke of Edinburg Award is testing; showing resilience, determination and responsibility. Having the award on a CV is impressive; valued and appreciated by universities and employers alike. Young people who have achieved this have had fun, met new friends and pushed boundaries. It is no mean feat and they must be extremely proud of their success.”

Amanda Jupp, Chairman of West Sussex County Council