Mayor of Merton Councillor Agatha Akyigyina presented over 300 young people from Merton with a certificate and badge at a special ceremony last night (22 April) celebrating their Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Awards at bronze, silver and gold level.
The event, held at Ricards Lodge High School, was hosted by young people who shared their experiences of the DofE and told guests what it meant to them to achieve the award. Guest speaker Peter Fleet, Director of the DofE in London, praised the efforts of the young people present and highlighted how their commitment has developed their social and interpersonal skills, enhanced their organisational abilities and teamwork as well as giving them a distinct advantage in the job and education markets.
The DofE requires young people to get involved in a number of different activities. Volunteering, for example, has included helping at libraries, uniformed groups and charity shops. They also took part in sports and developed their skills in activities such as debating, playing musical instruments, journalism or learning to drive. All those receiving the awards, took part in an expedition, with trips to areas such as the New Forest, East Grinstead, Box Hill and further afield to Cumbria, Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. At gold level residential courses included trips abroad to learn French, Spanish and German, voluntary work in Africa and closer to home, sailing, beach sweeps and even GB Junior Rowing Final Trials. The young people who achieved their Gold awards will be going to St James’s Palace to receive their certificates from the Duke of Edinburgh.
Merton’s director of children, schools and families, Yvette Stanley said: “Congratulations to all our young people who received their gold, silver and bronze level awards. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a great way for young people to challenge themselves and take part in a wide range of rewarding activities.”
Note to editors
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a national scheme that provides a rewarding personal development programme for young people aged 14 to 25. Young people are given the chance to get involved in a wide range of leisure, learning and voluntary activities that are both challenging and enjoyable. It is run across all the High Schools in Merton and through an Open Award Centre in South Wimbledon.