Date: 21 July 2014
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award
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
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:
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
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
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
Liz Bennett, Deputy
“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