Hundreds of young achievers from across Scotland were invited to The Palace of Holyroodhouse on the 6th of July, including several award winners from East Lothian.

Young people who completed The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) through Dunbar Grammar School, Preston Lodge High School, Knox Youth Group and DofE Haddington Youth Group have received their Gold Award certificate from Tony Singh MBE, one of the UK’s best-loved celebrity chefs, in the presence of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Gold Award Presentation (GAP) is a celebration and recognition of the young people’s achievements in their Gold DofE programme. The GAP is a unique event and a fitting culmination to mark the hard work, determination and perseverance required.

The group have worked tirelessly through the five sections of the DofE programme, choosing a diverse programme of activities, for a minimum of 12 months to achieve their Gold Award.

Volunteering examples included: helping run Girl Guides groups; working as a Sponsorship and Alumni Co-ordinator; being a Running Club leader; Gymnastics or Hockey coaching and helping to promote biodiversity and conservation with East Lothian Junior Rangers. Activities for the Physical section included playing hockey, dancing, yoga and Tae Kwan Do. The group have developed Skills such as baking and cooking, learning to drive and playing the piano and saxophone. They have all taken part in a 4-day Expedition, either walking, canoeing or kayaking in Scotland. Each member of the group took part in a 5-day Residential including working as an Animal Care Assistant in Australia, playing at concerts in Germany, gaining the Rotary Youth Leader Award or sailing a 39-foot yacht on the West Coast of Scotland.

East Lothian Provost, Councillor John McMillan said:

“Throughout their Duke of Edinburgh award, individuals were able to prove themselves to be great team members, leaders and decision makers. They have developed a range of skills, gained self-confidence and independence. Many others in the community have also benefitted from their volunteering activities too. Some participants are still keen to carry on with their activities now that they have completed their award.

“These experiences show what an impact the Duke of Edinburgh Award has - helping young people develop valuable life skills, whilst making a difference in their communities. For many of the young people, the Gold Award has helped them to get a place on a college/university course or obtain employment. Sincere thanks go to the hard work of all those involved in supporting the young people through the award, who were key to enabling these individuals to take part in life changing experiences.”

Published: Tuesday, 25th July 2017