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The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award success 24 April 2008

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is proving as popular as ever and the Department of Education has had another successful year, with a big increase in the number of young people taking part.

Since April 2007, 342 participants have entered onto the Award, of which 229 were Bronze, 77 Silver and 36 Gold. 116 young people have so far gained their Awards, 95 Bronze, 12 Silver and 9 Gold.

An annual award presentation evening will take place in September at the Gaiety Theatre to present certificates to these young people.

The Department of Education is just one of the operating authorities for the Award on the Island and offers them through all five secondary schools, the Isle of Man College, two open award centres and two voluntary youth organisations. In comparison to its population penetration, the Isle of Man rates sixth out of the 23 operating authorities in the North West.

The awards began in 1956 in the UK and 1965 in the Island. Young people have to be 14 before they begin participating in an award. Awards must be completed before a young person reaches 25.

Participants follow chosen activities, to create a personal challenge tailored to the needs of the individual, over a period of time. The awards are open to all.

Alison Crowe, Project Worker for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, explained:

‘The awards teach self-reliance and a sense of responsibility to others, both essential qualities of citizenship, and provide a vehicle for spiritual, personal and social development. Many participants discover new strengths that they did not know they had, and gain confidence from their achievements. There are three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold and each of these Awards has four sections: service, skills, physical recreation and expeditions and, at gold level only, a residential project.’

Photographs from last year’s presentation evening are on the youth website, www.iomyouth.com, together with photos from the Gold Presentation at Government House earlier this year.

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