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Posts tagged ‘Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme’

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!!)

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme

DofE LogoYesterday I was at a roadshow given by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme for the South East Region. (If you haven’t heard of the Award or want to find out what you have to do to complete it have a look here.) It was a really interesting presentation as the Charity is looking to up date it’s image and develop more interactive / web based systems. This was very positive and also ties in with a lot of the work we are doing across the county to develop our monitoring and information systems and hopefully (fingers crossed) their system will help with this!

As a County we support the DofE and use it as one of the main forms of accrediting young people’s activities. Knowing that there is occasionally an image problem with the Duke of Edinburghs Award we have worked hard to try to ensure that it is available for all young people and that they can all have a go at the Award.Cobnor Activity Centre

This has meant that we have made a lot of use of Sectional Certificates (where a young person completes a part of the Award for instance the Expedition) and then gets recognition for this. We have also used ‘Access Certificates’ where a young person completes a part of the Award maybe the skills section with the local canoe club and can then sign up, or not, to complete the rest of it if they wish.

For us the key objective is that young people have the opportunity to take part in a personal development programme that is based on their interests and is something that has national recognition (especially outside of youth work settings). It was therefore somewhat disconcerting to hear that those involved in developing the award appear more concerned with ‘completion’ rates and individuals completing the ‘whole’ award. When asked (more…)

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