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Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards presented (25/06/09)
Thirteen young people from the Highlands were presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards during a meeting of The Highland Council held earlier today. (Thursday 25 June).
This year’s Gold Award recipients include Mairi Fenton (19) a former pupil at Inverness Royal Academy who sailed Tall Ships for her residential project. Mairi was unable to attend the presentation as she is currently teaching squba diving in Borneo but another former pupil, James Fraser was able to attend. James, aged 18 joined the Haarlem Jamborette and volunteered with the Scout Association as a part of his award.
Nine of the gold medallists are pupils currently studying at Inverness Royal Academy. They are James Taylor, Siobhan Johnstone, Stacey Walker, Colin Whyte, Neil Craig, Lindsey Stirling, Peter Scott, Rachael Macgill and Freddi Gilbert.
Throughout the different levels of his Award James Taylor has volunteered with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and with Siobhan Johnstone and Stacey Walker supported development work in the Gambia, working alongside young people completing the President’s Award, their equivalent of The Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Colin Whyte was described by Pat Crippin, Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator at the school as a team member greatly valued by everyone for his cheerfulness, encouragement and commitment. Neil Craig chose to develop his guitar playing through the various levels of the Award and also gained a Young Quality Scot Award this year for his voluntary contributions to his community.
Lindsey Stirling and Peter Scott were part of a team who were involved in a month long expedition in Madagascar. Rachael Macgill has been working towards her professional award within the British Association of Teachers of Dance as the physical section of her award and she now has progressed to Grade 5 at piano and enjoys writing her own compositions. Freddi Gilbert’s outgoing personality was described by her group leader as an asset to group morale.
Joanne Kelly from the Crown Duke of Edinburgh award group describes her expedition as the most memorable part of her Award and says she now fully appreciates the importance teamwork and organisational skills play.
Neil Macleod, a pupil at Gairloch High School chose to do his expedition in a kayak and also completed an introductory white water kayaking course as a part of his Award while Ailith Pirie from Grantown Grammar School went to the Cevennes region of France.
Two young women from Caithness also gained awards this year but were unable to attend the presentation. Claire Treasurer (23) and Lora Jane Dillon (24), working with UKAEA and Caithness Guides respectively.
The Highland Council Operating Authority has 44 Award groups across the Highlands in schools, uniformed groups and youth work settings. There are 129 young people who have gained their Duke of Edinburgh Award in Highland this year, of which 16 were at Gold level.
The Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor Sandy Park, presented the young people with their awards and praised them all for their commitment and the effort they had made before going on to wish them all well for their future.
All the gold medallists are invited to the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh next month to be presented with their certificates by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.