A Royal date for young people with the golden touch

Councillors Martin, McAughtrie and McKie with Louise Macdonald and the Dumfries and Galloway Gold Award achievers at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Councillors Martin, McAughtrie and McKie with Louise Macdonald and the Dumfries and Galloway Gold Award achievers at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Young achievers from across the Dumfries and Galloway had a date at The Palace of Holyroodhouse on the 3rd July.

Each member of this 23 strong group from across the region have achieved their Gold (DofE) and travelled to Edinburgh on to receive their certificates from Gold Award Holder and DofE Trustee HRH The Earl of Wessex.

The recipients attended DofE centres in Dumfries, Stranraer, Newton Stewart, Dalbeattie, Gatehouse, Langholm and Annan where they achieved their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. The group were also greeted and celebrated by guest presenter Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of award-winning charity Young Scot.

Each young person has achieved their Gold Award through a diverse range of activities for a period of at least 12 months. They worked tirelessly through five sections of their DofE programme – Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and a Residential Section – some of which were completed in this country while others were achieved abroad. A sample of the activities undertaken include DofE Leadership, sports leadership, leading Brownie groups, climbing, cycling, golf, kickboxing, playing musical instruments, learning to drive, cookery, dress making and Young Enterprise. Expedition locations included the Isle of Arran, Lomond and Argyll, the Lake District and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Residential experiences ranged from working abroad as a teacher of English as another language, as a helper on the Pilgrimage to Lourdes, volunteering at the Commonwealth Games and Tall Ships sailing.

The achievement of the young people was also marked by the attendance of local Councillors from Dumfries and Galloway Council. Councillor’s Tom McAughtrie, David McKie and John Martin were all present at the Palace to celebrate the hard work of the young people.

Councillor McAughtrie, Chairman of the Community and Customer Services Committee, said: “It’s great to see young people from Dumfries and Galloway gaining such a prestigious award. These young people have demonstrated their resilience, determination and personal development with such positive results. As a Council, we are committed to prepare all our young people for life and work and as we know the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is so widely recognised and valued, we’re really delighted the award is going from strength to strength in our region.”

Callum Waugh, one of the Gold Award achievers, said of his experience: “Completing my DofE Award has been a thoroughly rewarding experience. It has enabled me to gain recognition for doing the things I love: by participating in sports, helping others, and learning new skills on expeditions. I have taken steps to provide others with this fantastic opportunity by attending courses to become a leader.”

The overall participation and interest in the DofE in Dumfries and Galloway is at an all-time high, with more and more young people taking up the challenge each year. If you’d like to join Callum in taking steps to support others in the DofE, please contact the DofE Support worker on 01387 260243 or email at gary.kirkpatrick@dumgal.gov.uk