Issued by High Life Highland
Ten young people from across the Highland area were today presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) and they represent just the tip of the iceberg as 245 young people in Highland gained a DofE award in 2011-12, of which 17 were at Gold level.
Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor Jimmy Gray presented the young people with their awards. He said: “It takes a huge commitment of time and effort, not to mention hard work, to achieve a gold award. I have nothing but admiration and praise for everyone involved; the young people themselves and those around them who have given support. They certainly are a great credit to themselves, their families, their schools and their local communities. I am sure the experiences they have gained will be of great benefit and I wish them all a bright and prosperous future.”
From the Crown DofE centre, which is entirely supported by parent volunteers, were Gold recipients Martha Menzies and Kathleen Scott. Martha’s skills section was singing; she has not only used this skill for DofE but all for her advanced higher music gaining an A grade and an unconditional entry to her music degree at Napier Uni. Kathleen Scott continued volunteering with the Brownies.
Catriona Knott from the Great Glen DofE centre was the first participant in Highland to complete her programme using the new web based eDofE system. Catriona used her involvement in Highland Youth Voice (youth parliament) for her volunteering section.
From the Inverness Open DofE Centre, Emma Grant said of her expedition “I learnt how far I could push and motivate myself and help others”. Also from the Open Centre, Fiona Hunter volunteered as a football coach, also gaining her Early Touches qualification. She took part on a DofE leadership residential where Alex Cumming the assistant director described her as” a very perceptive and thoughtful member of the team”.
From Inverness Royal Academy DofE Centre, Lewis Macleod showed good navigational skills during his residential, efficient and competent camp craft and an excellent awareness of the natural environment, whilst Alex Mount is described as an emerging leader by the DofE development officer in the Gambia where he completed his residential project.
Suzie Love, from Tain Royal Academy, describes her residential visit to Malawi as “my trip of a lifetime from which I learned a tremendous amount”. Suzie improved her skills in horse carriage driving.
Also presented with Gold awards today were Eilidh Black and Aimee MacDonald from Ness Bank Girls Brigade. Eilidh chose running for the physical section of her DofE programme, and her residential trip was to India. Aimee has undertaken Leadership Training with both the Scouts and the Girls' Brigade and has volunteered with both on a weekly basis.
Gold recipients who were unable to attend included Iain Stirling, & Matthew Herron from Inverness Royal Academy, Rosie Flanagan from Tain Royal Academy, Laura Macleod from the Inverness Open DofE centre, Hannah Donald from Crown DofE Centre, and Rochelle Donald, Kim MacDonald and Sophie Mills from the Girls Brigade.
The Highland Council Operating Authority, supported by High Life Highland, has 32 DofE groups across the Highlands in schools; youth work settings, businesses and voluntary organisations. Delivery of DofE is not possible without the 160 volunteers who are supported by High Life Highland staff.
Rebecca Raynes, DofE Manager, added “we are delighted with the growth in the number of young people taking part in and gaining a DofE award. I would like to take the opportunity to thank those who support DofE across Highland, giving up their time to supervise expeditions and encourage our young people to realise their potential”.
DofE is offered in Highland under license to The Highland Council Operating Authority and other National Operating Authorities. The Highland Council Operating Authority is supported by High Life Highland.