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The coordinator of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) in the Island has spoken of its ongoing value to young people.

Founded by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, DofE is the world’s leading youth achievement award.

Some 1.2 million young people aged 14 to 24 in 140 countries are working towards bronze, silver and gold awards.

The Department of Education and Children is the operating authority for the award in the Island and it’s offered through 12 units based at secondary schools and youth organisations.

More than 150 young people were invited to receive silver and bronze badges and certificates last night – marking another successful year for the award in the Island.

To achieve a bronze award, young people aged 14 and over complete at least three months on each of three sections – volunteering, physical and skills – opting for six months on one of them. They plan, train for and complete a two-day expedition.

The silver award, open to those aged 15 and over, involves a minimum of six months’ volunteering and six months on either physical or skills, with three months on the other. They tackle a three-day expedition.

Alison Barnes, Awards Coordinator with the DEC, said: ‘DofE helps young people gain skills that prove invaluable as they enter work or head to university.

‘Young people working for awards learn practical and social skills, teamwork, resilience and self-esteem and make a positive contribution to their communities.

‘This is one of my favourite events of the DofE year as it represents the end of the journey through a particular award and a celebration of the personal achievements of each individual who comes forward to receive their award.’

The awards event, at the Gaiety Theatre, was sponsored by Ardwhallan Outdoor Education Centre. Paul Melling, Head of the Centre, presented the certificates.

The evening also saw participants in the Isle of Man DofE 60th Anniversary Challenge last year receive badges and certificates.

The challenge enabled them to complete a section of the award while also raising money for the local grant fund, which assists other award participants.

Long service awards were also presented to leaders and helpers who have dedicated their time to DofE over the last five to 15 years.

Young people who attain the gold award receive it at a Government House event held each spring.

To find out more about DofE, visit https://www.dofe.org/ or https://www.gov.im/categories/education-training-and-careers/duke-of-edinburghs-award/


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