Record numbers take part in DofE scheme

Published: Thursday 25th October 12

Record numbers of young people across the borough are seizing opportunities to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

Wandsworth Council's youth service and local schools have been working hard to help young people aged between 14 and 25 access the programme, which offers personal achievement awards for various activities such as taking part in community projects or completing expeditions.

Over the past five years, Wandsworth has increased enrolments through schools and youth centres by 289 per cent - with more than 1,000 young people enrolling in 2011/2012 compared to 275 in 2002/2003.

Over that same period the number of awards achieved has gone up from 68 to 341 - the highest total for any inner London borough and the eighth best across the capital.

Wandsworth's spokesman for children's services, Councillor Kathy Tracey, said: "For so many years now the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme has been a fantastic pathway for young people to develop personally and professionally, regardless of ability or background.

"Some of the young people who have been achieving awards under the supervision of our youth workers had previously been considered difficult to engage with - but the scheme has changed that by giving them a positive outlet through which to express themselves, as well as teaching them valuable new skills.

"I am so pleased that we have been able to help more young people take part in the programme - and I am confident this will continue to be the case in the years to come."

Youth workers and teachers based in borough state schools have received training from the youth service so that they can now offer students the chance to undertake a basic expedition award under their leadership.

More recently, Wandsworth DofE leaders and teachers in Tooting Hub Youth Centre and Ernest Bevin College have been working with minority groups, who have historically been less well represented in the DofE scheme, to complete bronze, silver and gold awards.

To learn more about the council's youth service, including how to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, visit http://youth.wandsworth.gov.uk, or call into the Training and Resource Centre - the borough's Open Award Centre in Alma Road , which offers bronze, silver and gold level expeditions.

Alternatively, call 020 8871 7553 or email youth@wandsworth.gov.uk.

For more information about the award scheme visit www.dofe.org.

ENDS

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