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Duke of Edinburgh Awards for people from Staffordshire Moorlands

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 11, 2014

By Post & Times reporter

  • Streets Ahead Swimming Awards winners George Brentnall, Connor Doherty, Jacques Jamieson with Youth Worker Mark Dalkins.

  • Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award recipient Lydia Allcock.

  • 2014 Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award recipients from Painsley RC College, Endon High School, Blythe Bridge High School, Biddulph High School and Milward Hall Open Award Unit.

  • Outstanding Youth Achievement Award, From left, Amy Goldstraw, Leah Leek, Kayleigh March, Matt Steer, James Birks, Connor Doherty, Edward Daly and Joe Porter.

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YOUNG people from Staffordshire Moorlands celebrated their achievements at a special event at Endon High School.

More than 180 young people from across district headed to the school to receive their awards and certificates gained throughout 2013.

Accolades included the Duke of Edinburgh Award (D of E), Youth Achievement Award, Asdan and the National Citizenship Diploma.

A number of young people also volunteered time to improving their communities as part of their awards, with the support of their youth workers.

Councillor Mark Sutton, Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Community Safety with Staffordshire County Council said: "The dedication the young people demonstrated in the hard work they put in to achieve their awards is a real credit to them."

The awards allow young people to take on new challenges and make new friends, with some awards taking the young people up to four years to complete.

Edward Whittaker, aged 21, from Leek, a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award recipient said: "Attaining my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award was something I wanted to achieve as soon as I first heard about it.

"I started at 13, working towards my bronze and it took me my teenage years to complete along with the Silver award and most recently my Gold. The awards, along with weekly meetings and great lasting friendships, weren't the only things that I achieved from my seven years of D of E.

"The programme supported a whole host of activities that I spent my adolescence doing that I would not have been able to do without the programme. Things such as rock climbing on real and artificial rock, mountain biking all over the country, and kayaking on lakes, canals, rivers and weirs were personal favourites.

"These were not only one-off ventures but monthly and sometimes weekly activities where we were taught how to do each activity properly and safely alongside gaining qualifications in each.

"The main expeditions themselves have created long-term memories that I will not be forgetting in a hurry and are still reminisced about with those who I shared them with. Particular favourites are those of nights spent wild camping on top of ridge lines and in forests on the South Downs way, and the views we experienced as we opened our tents as we rose for another hard days mountain biking. D of E would be something I recommend to anyone who fancies a challenge, as it played a strong part in helping me grow as a person".

Archie Good, aged 15, from Painsley RC College, a Duke of Edinburgh Award Bronze recipient said: "The D of E Award is a great opportunity to get outdoors and improve your fitness. It was amazing to be presented with my award and the skills I've learnt will help me in the future. I really hope I can continue to progress to Silver and Gold."

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