2006 is an important year for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, as it is the 50th Anniversary of the Award’s creation and to mark the occasion a range of events are planned for the Highlands including a reunion dinner.
Over the past 5 years, the number of young people taking part has risen by about 30%, with now over 225,000 young people working towards Awards at any one time. Over 6 million people have gained an Award worldwide – an impressive statistic considering the whole idea for the scheme came out of one boarding school in the Highlands.
To celebrate the Award’s 50th Anniversary, The Scottish Award Office, Highland Award Project and The Highland Council are taking the opportunity to organise a range of events to celebrate achievements over the previous 50 years and to thank all the supporters, volunteers and participants associated with the Award.
Events will include a Reunion Dinner and Ceilidh to be held in Inverness on 19th May, for which tickets are now available. The evening will see previous and present leaders, participants and friends of the Award come together to celebrate their achievements and reminisce about past events.
Director of The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Service and Chair of Scottish Advisory Committee, Bruce Robertson said: "The Council through its Education, Culture and Sport Service has a long history of offering the Award through schools and youth groups. We are working hard to develop the range and number of young people who have access to the Award."
Under a committee headed by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, the Award was born and although little details may have changed over the half century, the Award is essentially the same today as it was back then.
Young people have to complete four sections to gain an Award: Service, Skills, Recreation and Expedition. The Award is open to all 14-25 year olds, regardless of gender, background or ability in over 100 countries world-wide. There are three levels of the Award – Bronze, Silver and Gold – which the young people work through as they get older. The Gold Award also requires participants to complete a Residential project where they must be away from home for over 5 days.
Our goal for the future is to strengthen the Award by continuing to broaden and extend its reach to the many communities that comprise contemporary Scotland.
For more information about the 50th Anniversary celebrations in the Highlands and for tickets to the reunion dinner, please contact Sharon Sylvester on (01463) 229209 or 240159, or e mail sharon.sylvester@ highland.gov.uk.