The Department of Education and Children’s outdoor education centre is expanding what it offers to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme after taking on a former DofE recipient.
Ardwhallan, at West Baldwin, is offering a comprehensive range of activities for young people working towards bronze, silver and gold awards.
The package has been put together by Lucy Connors, who first visited Ardwhallan when working towards her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. She progressed to become a part-time volunteer assistant instructor on a year-long training scheme and then a full-time volunteer trainee instructor before gaining employment at the centre as Outdoor Education Worker.
Her role includes working with schools and youth groups and expanding what Ardwhallan offers after-school and weekend clubs, with a large focus being on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is available to people aged 14 to 25 and it encourages them to try new, challenging activities as well as giving credit for existing interests.
The ‘volunteering’, ‘physical’ and ‘skill’ sections encourage young people to get out into the community, helping others or taking part in positive activities.
DofE is a recognised addition to young people’s work skills and is welcomed by educationalists and employers.
Many participants carry on with the activities they started in DofE, some taking those skills into the workplace.
More than 800 young people are working towards the award locally.
Lucy said: ‘Having taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award myself and gained a lot, both in self-confidence and in leadership skills, I am keen to offer that experience to other young people.’
‘Our programme will enable young people to complete the physical, skill, volunteering and expedition sections of the award at bronze and silver level with the addition of expeditions and residential stays at gold level.’
There are also a number of after-school courses at Ardwhallan, which can be accessed individually and can be used to complete sections of the award.
For information on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, contact Alison Gawne on 686051.