On 1 July, 57 young people struck gold when they received the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Gold Award. The ceremony took place in the Great Hall, Winchester, where recipients were presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Guest of Honour- Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mr Nigel Atkinson.
These young people have demonstrated a huge amount of commitment and determination to gain this very prestigious award, and they can be very proud of their achievement. I know they will all have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge too.”
The Lord Lieutenant
Camping and canoeing expeditions, overseas adventures, volunteering and crewing tall ships were just some of the challenges undertaken by the young people as they worked towards gaining their awards.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a nationwide scheme, requiring participants to spend time volunteering, learning or improving a skill, taking part in a physical activity, and undertaking an expedition with a group of friends. While undertaking the Gold Award, a young person will typically give more than 50 hours of volunteering, spend a total of eighteen months learning skills and physical activities, and undertake a four-day expedition in terrain classified as ‘wild country’ – from Snowdonia and The Lake District, to Scotland and Morocco – camping overnight, carrying all their kit, and being fully self-sufficient.
Those going for Gold are also required to spend at least five days away from home on a challenge with a group of people not previously known to them. The young people attending the awards event had undertaken everything from crewing tall ships, helping disadvantaged and disabled children at residential camps, and undertaking their National Citizen Service, to working with local communities in South Africa, Tunisia and Mexico, as well as volunteering at Lourdes in France.
“DofE represents a major challenge, and gaining the Gold Award is a real achievement,” said Martin King, the Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Hampshire Forum. “I hope to see many more young people following in their footsteps in the years to come.”