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Archive for the ‘Duke of Edinburghs Award’ Category

Positive Stories of Young People

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve just been to Worth Abbey to the West Sussex Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award presentation. Even though it’s Sunday afternoon, Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Wimbledon mens tennis final 61 young people, carers and parents took part in the celebrations. So many times young people are maligned in the media for their anti social behaviour, their lack of interest in anything other than computers & TV, that they are no hopers, taking everything and giving nothing. These presentations however give a timely and much needed counter view of young people, congratulating instead a wide range of young people who have shown motivation,  commitment and dedication over a long period of time.

Today we heard from the group who completed their expedition in canoe on the River Wye, and learnt in practice what it means to paddle on a tidal river. (With the water flowing against you for half the time it’s not as simple as floating down the river!) There was a young man who had taken part in a British Schools Exploration Society expedition to the Yukon where he completed both his residential section and his expedition and another who built a kit car for his skills section and credits this with his interest in civil engineering. All of them have completed at least 12 months volunteering supporting their local communities, the environment and others. So here’s to their acheivements, let’s celebrate and share in their enjoyment (and see how many column inches these positive stories earn!!)

Charlton Chase 2009

With wind, rain and snow taking up most of last week it was with some trepidation that I could be seen heading out last Saturday night to help out on the Charlton Chase.

This is an all night navigation exercise (depending on skills!) for young people from across West Sussex which has been run annually by the County Youth Service  since 1981.

The support base is at Seaford College (and our thanks to them their continuing help in providing this)  and takes place over open country so young people need to be physically fit, able to navigate at night, have a basic knowledge of first aid, hill walking and be able to look after themselves in adverse conditions. The course consists of six main checkpoints at which the teams can gain points for the completion of exercises designed to test their teamwork and initiative. This year, even with the weather we had over 320 young people taking part (!) in eighty teams and over 100 volunteers supporting the event.

A big congratulations and thank you needs to go to colleagues who put a tremendous  amount of hard work and effort into this, from the co-ordination and administration of teams, to sourcing volunteers to man checkpoints, to working out where the routes will go, to working on the night. And the main thanks must go to our Duke of Edinburghs Award, Outdoor Education and Accreditation Manager  who (amazingly) oversees all bases and keeps it all together in the run up and on the night (in conjunction with the day job!)

Random Post No.1 – Recruitment

Courtesy of Gaetan Lee

Courtesy of Gaetan Lee

Part of why life has been so busy recently has been the sudden upsurge in the number of vacancies and having to get to grips, yet again, with a recruitment system that has changed. As a County we’ve now moved from Job Descriptions and person specs to just the one role profile which has meant rewriting some of our previous info and then going through the whole interview request systems. However, with ads having gone out, shortlisting done, it’s finally interview week for a new Duke of Edinburgh, Outdoor Education and Accreditation Manager as the person who has been doing the job for the past 5 years has moved to another role within the service. She has helped to develop and move forward our work in all areas over the past few years and is still very involved in moving forward our vision of Outdoor Education so don’t go too far!!!

The other posts we are interviewing for are new ones called Postivite Activities for Children Co-ordinators and are stretching our boundaries by being focussed on developing activity programmes for targeted children aged 8-13yrs. I think these will be very exciting and will definately start to fill a gap in our provision whilst also raising interesting questions about Integrated Services and our target age group! (More on that in another post!)

So – here’s to a good and hopefully successful interview week!!

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