West Sussex young peope hit gold with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Young people celebrate their Duke of Edinburgh's Award success (submitted).
Young people celebrate their Duke of Edinburgh's Award success (submitted).

Dozens of young people from across West Sussex have celebrated achieving a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at a special ceremony.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which is run in this area by West Sussex County Council’s Youth Support and Development Service, is aimed at young people between the ages of 14 and 24 years.

The annual Gold Award ceremony was held at Worth Abbey with certificates and badges presented by Susan Pyper, lord-lieutenant of West Sussex.

Nearly 50 of the young people who had achieved an award this year and their families came together to celebrate some truly remarkable achievements.

One of the young people receiving his award spoke about the life changing experiences that the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has provided for him.

Stefan Aldridge, 23, from Horsham, relived his experience of supporting an African Orphanage as part of his Residential Section describing how he had worked with a team to build a community centre for use by all in the village.

Others have given their time to support local charities, youth groups and other younger Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants as part of their Volunteering Section.

The Physical Section had seen young people participate in activities such as dance and team sports whilst the Skills Section has seen young people develop their musical talents, art skills and many other activities.

Also present at the award ceremony were the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Patrick Burgess, Amanda Jupp (Con, Billingshurst), chairman of WSCC, Peter Evans (Con, East Preston & Ferring), WSCC cabinet member for children - start of live, and county councillors Margaret Whitehead and Brenda Smith.

Mr Evans said: “This was an inspiring event with some truly remarkable young people.

“This is such a worthwhile scheme and it can be a really impressive addition to a CV as the award is recognised by employers and universities.

“It gives young people a great opportunity to learn some new skills and have fun at the same time.”

If you would like to learn more about The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award visit its website or e-mail dyouth@westsussex.gov.uk