Merton celebrates Duke of Edinburgh success

Mayor of Merton Councillor Brenda Fraser presented 90 of Merton’s young people with certificates and badges for their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award achievements at a special ceremony in Wimbledon Arts Space this week (19 April 2017).

In total, 355 young people completed their awards in Merton over the last 12 months.

The young people from 13 secondary schools across the borough were recognised for their perseverance and hard work which led them to complete their awards over 12 months from April 2016 at bronze, silver and gold levels. Rutlish School was presented with an excellence award for their success rate in completing the DofE scheme.

DofE requires young people to get involved in different activities, develop a variety of skills, volunteer and get involved in sports. Volunteering is a key part of the DofE. The young people carried out a total of 6,000 hours of volunteering in Merton over the last year. Examples of their volunteering included helping at primary schools, fundraising for charity and helping at a hospital. Sports included rowing, Tae Kwon Do and football. The young people developed skills such as debating, playing the violin, singing and playing chess.  A major part of the awards at each level is the expedition. Bronze expeditions include trips to Kent and the South Downs and excursions to the Brecon Beacons and Yorkshire Dales were part of the silver and gold awards.

Earlier in April a group of the borough’s Duke of Edinburgh award achievers visited St James’s Palace to meet the Duke of Edinburgh. One of those who met the Duke was Rebecca Marett (pictured [left]  outside St James’s Palace with Seo-Yeon Lee and Amabel Watkins), who completed her bronze, silver and gold awards in Merton. The former Ursuline High School pupil is now working as a part time youth worker at the Open Award Centre, helping others to take part in DofE.

Mayor of Merton Councillor Brenda Fraser said: “It is wonderful to see so many of our young people get involved with the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. It provides such a great opportunity for them to discover a new skill, get involved in sport, volunteer and develop their independence on the expeditions. Sometimes we feel that we want to do something, but are hesitant to jump in at the deep end. Our young people have shown their ability to push themselves and strive for their goals. I hope those who have completed their bronze and silver will now be motivated to go on to the next level. Achieving their awards, and the qualities they develop, will stay with them for the rest of their lives. A big thank you must go to parents, teachers and all those who supported and encouraged our young people Many congratulations to them all.”

Merton Council cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Katy Neep said: “We should all be very proud of our young people who have achieved so much. The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme helps promote confidence and perseverance in our young people, characteristics that will be benefit them in many other aspects of life.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editor

  1. Anyone wishing to apply to be part of the DofE award scheme should contact Carol Curtis, DofE Manager  by email dofeaward@merton.gov.uk or call 020 8274 5828 or call in at the Open Award Centre on a Tuesday evening (Term time only) between 7-9pm at John Innes Youth Centre, 61 Kingston Road, SW19 1JN
  2. At 61%, Merton enjoyed one of the highest completion rates in London this year.
  3. The council enrolled 664 young people for the year 2016-17: Bronze = 441 Silver = 120  Gold = 103
  4. Merton achieved 355 awards this year, compared with 294 last year