This year, we've seen a 31% increase in the number of DofE Awards completed in East Lothian

More young people from East Lothian have been getting involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) – an exciting opportunity to learn new skills, build confidence and resilience and make friends – supported by East Lothian Council’s Community Learning and Development team and many community volunteers.

In 2018/19, there was a 14.8% increase in the number of young people starting a DofE programme, with a 30.6% increase in the number of DofE Awards completed.

Last week, 16 young people from East Lothian were at Holyrood Palace to receive their Gold Award recognition and share their experience with HRH The Earl of Forfar. The young people were registered with the Honest Toun DofE Community Group, North Berwick Community Group, Haddington/Gifford Open Group, Haddington Hikers, Dunbar Grammar School and Ross High School.

Those who achieve a Gold DofE Award will volunteer, learn a skill, get fit, take part in a week long residential and plan and undertake an expedition in wild country. Widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people, DofE programmes enable any young person, aged 14-24, to develop key skills for life and work, such as confidence, commitment and team working.

One of the young people receiving a Gold Award, Karla, said:

“In the 12 months I have been at the 3rd Musselburgh Girl Guide unit I have gained in confidence when being in charge of a large group, I have been able to lead sessions and run activities for the girls. I enjoy attending this guide unit as it is really good to see how the girls make a big commitment to attend every week and widen their knowledge of certain topics and gain badges.”

Another participant, Megan, commented:

“At first I thought the year would be really hard and scary, but surprisingly, right from the start I found the general environment really fun and light spirited…. I couldn't help smiling throughout every session. Just watching the kids all having such a good time really made my day.”

East Lothian Council’s Community Learning and Development team quality assures the delivery of high quality Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programmes in East Lothian and promotes the award to increase participation in secondary schools and by community groups. This includes removing barriers to participation. The team approves the appointment of voluntary leaders, instructors, supervisors and assessors and provide access to appropriate training and qualifications for their role.

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing, said:

“I would like to congratulate the 16 young people from East Lothian who have received their Gold Award – a tremendous achievement. The DofE gives young people the opportunity to gain new skills and inspires them to push themselves forward. It is very encouraging to see increased participation in East Lothian and I’d like to thank our Community Learning and Development team for their hard work in overseeing and managing local DofE centres. I hope even more of our young people will be encouraged to get involved in future years.”

Barry Fisher, Scotland Director for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said:

“I am delighted that so many young people from the county attended the Gold Award Presentation today at the Palace of Holyroodhouse to collect their DofE Gold Award. There is a really strong history of DofE participation across East Lothian but I am delighted that numbers in recent years have increased including young people starting their Gold Award. The council has also looked closely at increasing the numbers of young people taking part who have most to gain from the programme. The DofE is becoming a programme in the county that really is ‘everywhere for everyone’. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the council and all the DofE Leaders across East Lothian for their amazing commitment to young people.”

Further information about The Duke of Edinburgh Award is available online.

Published: Tuesday, 9th July 2019