News

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Success

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Success  
Date Published:

Northumberland College's first cohort of students to successfully complete The Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award were presented with their award in front of proud friends and family at a special celebration event last night.

The 11 successful students, who study a range of subjects including early years, agriculture, uniformed public services, health and social care and travel and tourism achieved the awards by completing a personal programme of activities covering three topics; skills, volunteering and physical plus a challenging expedition.

The participants chose activities that they were interested in or were good at to gain the necessary hours including learning how to play the trumpet, learning how to dance, teaching children to swim, taking part in a charity skydive, working in a charity shop, learning to cook on a budget for university, playing rugby, playing basketball and learning to drive.

The challenging expedition element saw the students organising, training and undertaking a two day and one night expedition to develop key teamwork, leadership and decision-making skills. This involved camp craft and navigation training using the tutors and resources of the college's outdoor education department.

The successful students are Joshua Allison, Lucy Breeze, Reece Brown, Rebecca Dewar, Duncan Fenwick, Adam Moore, Elizabeth Mould, Lee Robinson, Ross Seaton, Adam Thompson and Rebecca Todd. A number of students are about to progress to the Silver Award.

Rebecca Dewar, 18 from Ashington, completed her Health and Social Care course at the college this year and is now studying Adult Nursing at Northumbria University. She said: "The Duke of Edinburgh's Award was a great addition to my application to university; the university staff were very interested in hearing about it during my interview. I'm sure the Award helped me secure a place on my degree course.

"I'd recommend the Duke of Edinburgh's Award to anyone. It has been a great experience, I've made new friends and it's built up my confidence."

Stuart Cutforth, Principal of Northumberland College, said: "These students have really embraced the adventurous nature of the award and have done some really worthwhile work in the local community in the process, whilst having fun with their friends. I'd like to congratulate each and every one of these students and encourage other students to sign up.

"The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a fantastic opportunity for our students to develop the skills and attributes they need to become rounded, confident adults, plus it looks great on a university application and CV."

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is the world's leading achievement award for young people and is highly valued by employers and universities. Students who achieve an award show commitment and greatly enhance their opportunities for employment and university placements.

Sam Kellie, Operations & Development Officer - North East (Northern Area) at The Duke of Edinburgh's Award said: "I'd like to congratulate the young people on completing their Bronze Awards and to everyone involved in supporting the young people through their Duke of Edinburgh's Awards at the college. It's been a fantastic start and I look forward to supporting the college to extend their Duke of Edinburgh provision to more students at Northumberland College."

Northumberland College were granted the licence to run the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze, Silver and Gold level awards for its students last year. The college funds the award as part of its commitment to providing an enrichment programme and helps students to obtain the kit needed for the expeditions.

Sheena Towns, Programme Area Leader at the College has personal experience of the benefits The Duke of Edinburgh's Award can bring. In 1979 she was the first female in North Tyneside to achieve the Gold Award.

She said: "It was three years of hard work but at the same time very enjoyable. I would really recommend the awards to young people for the wide range of skills you acquire including employability skills such as problem solving and teamwork really develop you as a person and increase employment opportunities."

Alongside Northumberland County Council the college is the only other directly licenced Duke of Edinburgh's Award centre in Northumberland. The awards were delivered by the college's student mentors, teaching staff and volunteers who have all been trained to become The Duke of Edinburgh's Award leaders.