Students lead the way in challenge

Northumberland College's first cohort of students to successfully complete The Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award.
Northumberland College's first cohort of students to successfully complete The Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award.

ADVENTUROUS Northumberland students are leading the way after completing a challenging award programme.

Northumberland College held a special celebration evening to recognise its first cohort of students to successfully complete the The Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award.

The college was granted a licence to run the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for its students last year and funds the scheme as part of its commitment to an enrichment programme.

Eleven successful students – Joshua Allison, Lucy Breeze, Reece Brown, Rebecca Dewar, Duncan Fenwick, Adam Moore, Elizabeth Mould, Lee Robinson, Ross Seaton, Adam Thompson and Rebecca Todd – have now obtained the Bronze and several are about to progress to the Silver stage.

College Principal Stuart Cutforth said: “These students have really embraced the adventurous nature of the award and have done some really worthwhile work in the local community in the process while having fun with their friends.

“I’d like to congratulate each and every one of these students and encourage other students to sign up.

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a fantastic opportunity for our students to develop the skills and attributes they need to become rounded, confident adults, plus it looks great on a university application and CV.”

The award winners, who are taking various courses including early years, agriculture, uniformed public service and health and social care, had to complete a personal programme of activities covering skills, volunteering and physical aspects, as well as a challenging expedition.

A wide range of activities were chosen by the group, based on their own interests, which included learning how to play the trumpet, teaching children to swim, learning to drive, taking part in a charity skydive, working in a charity shop, learning to dance, playing rugby, learning how to cook on a budget and playing basketball.

The expedition saw the students organising, training and undertaking a two-day, one-night trip to develop teamwork, leadership and decision-making skills. It involved camp craft and navigation training, with help from tutors and resources from the college’s outdoor education department.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award North East Operations and Development Officer, Sam Kellie, said: “I’d like to congratulate the young people on completing their Bronze awards and to everyone involved in supporting the young people through their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards at the college.

“It’s been a fantastic start and I look forward to supporting the college to extend its Duke of Edinburgh provision to more students.”

College Programme Area Leader, Sheena Towns, who was the first woman in North Tyneside to achieve the Gold Award in 1979, said: “I would really recommend the awards to young people for the wide range of skills you acquire, including employability skills such as problem solving and teamwork.”