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HRH The Earl of Wessex meets with Bourne Academies Gold DofE participants

As part of a campaign to generate support for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) charity, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex visited Canford School, The Bourne Academy’s sponsor school, on 13th and 14th June 2018. Through a combination of DofE engagements His Royal Highness will enable a new generation of young people to start their DofE journey in the UK and abroad.

As part of the visit, His Royal Highness chatted to the pupils from The Bourne Academy and Canford. Both schools deliver the DofE and Canford is an official DofE Licensed Organisation.  The Earl heard about the pupils experiences of DofE and what they have gained from doing their Award.  Currently at The Bourne Academy, 81 students have been involved in the programme so far (Six Gold Award participants, 56 Silver and 20 Bronze).  In May, former Bourne Academy student, Sophie Eaton, attended a presentation at Buckingham Palace where, in the presence of HRH The Countess of Wessex, she received her Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  The Academy’s Deputy Head, Carol Harrison, was also invited in recognition of the Academy’s active involvement in the South West Region.

Mark Avoth, who accompanied the students on the visit said:

“I was truly proud to accompany our Gold DofE participants to our sponsor Canford School whilst they met and chatted with HRH The Earl of Wessex as part of his two day visit.  Our students had just returned from their Gold DofE expedition, paddleboarding in Scotland, and have the honour of being first group from the South West region to achieve this. Our students spoke to His Royal Highness with great enthusiasm about their journey of self-discovery over the last 12-18 months whilst undertaking their Award.  We are delighted to work so closely with Canford School on so many initiatives, this being one of them – both our schools work diligently to promote resilience, independence and ambition.  Our students should be extremely proud of their achievements.”

Canford Headmaster Ben Vessey commented:

“We were delighted to welcome colleagues and pupils from The Bourne Academy to our meeting with His Royal Highness this afternoon.  Staff from both schools have collaborated regularly over the development and running of the courses to ensure that we offer the best possible support to our young people as they undertake these very rewarding DofE challenges.”‚Äč

For young people aged 14-24, doing a DofE programme offers a unique opportunity to grow as young adults and gain valuable life experience whilst developing essential employability skills such as confidence, resilience and drive. After achieving an Award the journey doesn’t end and many Award holders go on to continue volunteering, honing skills or improving their fitness.

Heather Thompson, DofE Regional Director in the South West said:  “As a DofE Charity Trustee and Gold Award holder, HRH The Earl of Wessex is passionate about supporting young people to reach their potential, whatever their background or circumstance.  We are grateful for his dedication to the Charity and taking on this fundraising challenge. HRH’s support, and the generosity of so many local partners, will help us extend our reach and work towards our ambition of all young people having the opportunity to do their DofE.”

About the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is the world’s leading youth achievement award that is currently helping over 430,000 young people to develop for life and work in the UK. In 2017/2018, over 275,000 young people started a DofE programme, including over 60,000 from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Founded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, the DofE is currently being delivered in 10,014 DofE centres such as schools, youth clubs and prisons, supported by over 3,000 partner organisations and approximately 40,000 adult volunteers from all walks of life.

In total, over six million people have participated in DofE programmes in the UK and achieved over 2.8 million Awards since 1956. In 2016/2017, 142,961 achieved a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The DofE is supported by UK employers including Amey, St. James’s Place, Tarmac, British Gas, DFS, Heathrow and RSM who endorse the skills and attributes developed whilst doing a DofE programme such as resilience, commitment, self-motivation and team working.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a Registered Charity No 1072490 and in Scotland No SC038254 and a Royal Charter Corporation RC000806

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation is a Registered Charity in England and Wales, No 1072453. There are more than one million young people currently participating globally in 141 countries and territories.