168 young people from across Merton were honoured for achieving their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at a special awards ceremony last night.
The evening, held at Raynes Park High School, was hosted by two young gold awardees, and featured presentations and demonstrations of the activities that young people had taken part in as part of the programme. The Mayor of Merton was also present to award each participant with the certificate and badge they had earned by completing the award.
Highlights from the evening included Indian dance, film-making, a clarinet performance and volunteering and expedition presentations.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a national scheme, which aims to provide a rewarding programme of personal development for young people aged 14 to 25 years. Participants are given the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of leisure, learning and voluntary activities that are both challenging and enjoyable.
Yvette Stanley, Merton Council’s director for children, schools and families said: “These young people have shown great commitment and effort in completing their awards, whether at bronze, silver or gold level and I congratulation them all.
“As well as being a lot of fun to do, the award is an accredited, nationally recognised scheme which employers and educational institutions find extremely attractive. It is a valuable addition to any young person’s CV or record of achievement.”
Kate McDermott, one of the gold achievers hosting this year’s awards ceremony said: “I started the programme four years ago and it has been really good. It’s been a great way to meet new friends and it’s helped to give me more motivation. The expeditions are really tough but at the end of it all you feel you’ve really accomplished something.
For information on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in Merton visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/dukeofed-2 or phone Carol Curtis on 020 8274 5828.
Notes to editors:
More than 500 young people are registered for the Duke of Edinburgh’s award in Merton, each one taking part in the scheme at bronze, silver or gold level by completing four sections; service, skill, physical recreation and expedition (with a fifth residential project, which encourage individual participation in voluntary activities, at gold level).
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is part of Merton’s Youth Service and is available for all young people aged 14 – 25 years living or going to school in the borough. It is a voluntary programme completed in extra curricular time.
This year 160 young people completed their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award -113 in bronze, 50 in silver and 5 in gold.