The achievements of young people from across Kirklees were celebrated at this year’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award presentation at a packed Huddersfield Town Hall.
The last year saw 881 new participants enrol on the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award in Kirklees, through schools, colleges, open award centres and other youth provisions.
A wonderful 593 achieved their ambition of a bronze, silver or gold award, with an additional 238 achieving their Certificate of Achievement over the past 12 months.
Young people were presented with their awards by a range of special guests – Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ed Anderson CBE, Mayor and Mayoress of Kirklees Clr Masood Ahmed and his daughter Iram and international saxophonist Ellie Sax.
Young people themselves were at the forefront of the event, with memorable performances coming from young people who attend All Saints Catholic College at Bradley and Shelley College.
Clr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for learning, aspiration and communities, said: “The council plays a key role in delivering these awards, supporting young people to aspire, achieve and fulfil their potential.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. The DofE scheme is a great opportunity for young people in Kirklees to shine, have fun and develop new skills that will benefit themselves and other people.”
Clr Ahmed said: “It was an honour to officially recognise the young people of Kirklees with their awards. Their resilience and self-belief to reach their goals is something to admire.
“The programme, for a lot of young people, means stepping out of their comfort zone and pushing personal boundaries. As mayor it makes me incredibly proud that we have some of the most dedicated and committed young people in the country.”
The DofE is open to all 14-24 year olds and is a popular way of developing skills for life and work whilst having fun. It includes helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, planning and completing an expedition and, for gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.
Kirklees young people have made a huge difference to many people’s lives by volunteering their time on a weekly basis through a wide range of activities. These include supporting food banks, helping in charity shops, fundraising, litter picking, sports leadership roles and environmental projects.
The Kirklees DofE team is based at Little Deer Wood, an accessible outdoor activity centre in Mirfield, which is available for bookings. People can enjoy archery, climbing, bouldering, canoeing, bushcraft, outdoor cooking, orienteering and team building.
Little Deer Wood offers half and full days of activities, as well as evening sessions and residentials. Accommodation is in bespoke shepherd’s huts or tipis, while the central log cabin with multi-media connections is an ideal place for team away days.
The venue also offers outdoor courses for adults such as the Lowland Leader, Countryside Leader Award, Archery and First Aid, all of which are nationally recognised qualifications.
For more information about both Little Deer Wood and the DofE scheme, visit www.kirkleesdofe.org