After miles of walking, hours of volunteering and many new skills learnt, year 10s and year 11s at Gumley received awards for completing their bronze Duke of Edinburgh on the 15th October 2019. On the night there were displays of contemporary dance and Irish dance as well as piano performances. Some of the students also showed examples of their new found skills, such as paper quilling and photography. After the awards ceremony, girls who had done baking as their skill provided cakes and refreshments.

Completing the award consisted of doing physical, volunteering and skill tasks, two of the options for three months and the other for six. Skills people learnt included: computer programming, cooking, baking, dance, arts and crafts and learning to play musical instruments. Students also volunteered within their community working in charity shops and helping at children’s sporting events such as junior parkrun and coaching at swimming lessons.

In addition to the above tasks, students had to complete a 2 day/1 night expedition. Students had to walk a distance of about 24-32km (15-20 miles) on each day and stayed the night out camping.

In the words of one student “doing Duke of Edinburgh taught me how to set up tents. It is hard but worth it and enjoyable, I would recommend it but you do have to be prepared for all the walking”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has been in existence since 1956 although at the beginning it was for boys only. In 1957 it was extended to girls.

It celebrated 60 years in 2016 with the launch of the DofE Diamond Challenge.

The Duke of Edinburgh Awards provides an opportunity to discover new interests and develop skills. It helps build friendships and is great fun even though it is also very challenging. It is a recognised mark of achievement which is great to put on your curriculum vitae.

-Hannah Padbury