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Young people's 3,700 hours local volunteering celebrated at Duke of Edinburgh Awards Evening 2024

Posted on 4 Apr 2024

St Matthews Academy Auditorium played host to this year’s Duke of Edinburgh Awards ceremony celebrating the hard work and dedication of North Ayrshire’s selfless young people. 

The evening ceremony took place on Wednesday, March 27, when 200 pupils from across our secondary schools were honoured, as they received their coveted Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. North Ayrshire Provost Anthea Dickson was one of the award presenters at the ceremony. Throughout the celebratory event, she heard about the young people’s tremendous Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) achievements.

Provost Dickson shared: “Well done to our incredible young people who have sacrificed their own time to work towards their awards.

“The ceremony really is one of the highlights of the academic year. It was a pleasure to be part of it once again. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards offer a wealth of exciting development opportunities for young people to learn new skills and realise their full potential.

“The internationally-recognised DofE accolades are a standard of excellence. These awards will really help to make our young people stand out when they progress into further education or as they embark upon the next step of their employment journeys, so their achievements are a cause of significant celebration.

“Well done to everyone and good luck to everyone progressing towards their next DofE award levels in 2024."

The Provost was also accompanied by Councillor Shaun Macaulay, Cabinet Member for Education and Young People, who opened the ceremony.

Councillor Macaulay said: “What a tremendous result for our young people.

“Thank you to all of the local award leaders, teachers, head teachers, volunteers, parents, guardians and support workers who have championed and supported them to achieve this evening’s coveted Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

“Over the past year, our young people have clocked an incredible 3,700 hours volunteering throughout their communities, so on behalf of everyone at North Ayrshire Council, I would like to share my extended thanks for their hard work and dedication.

We are proud to share that North Ayrshire remains firmly on the map as one of the most accomplished local authorities in the region with over 1,000 participants aged between 14 to 24 currently working through their Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards. 

“Not only does DofE help to prepare young people for the next chapter of their lives, it is also a brilliant opportunity to make friends, develop new skills and give them the confidence to succeed in their future endeavours. So why not get involved too?

“If you are a young person who would like to get involved, speak to a school teacher, youth worker or Duke of Edinburgh representative in your school or local community centre to find out how you can be part of the action too.”

The ceremony closed with a chance to recognise the commitment of Ian Staples Duke of Edinburgh Manager and Coordinator for over 16 years at Arran Outdoor Centre, and Norrie Brown – award winner of the Duke of Edinburgh Torchbearer of the Year Award and former Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator for 22 years at Auchenharvie Academy. Find out more about Norrie’s contribution in the YouTube video here.

After 38 years’ service combined and being the driving force at the forefront of impacting young people’s lives in North Ayrshire via DofE outdoor education activities, Ian and Norrie’s DofE journeys now come to an end as they are both due to shortly retire. 

Stay tuned to the latest Duke of Edinburgh North Ayrshire updates via the DofE X newsfeed here (formerly Twitter).

For more information about the Duke of Edinburgh programme and other youth opportunities, visit the Youth groups and organisations Council webpage or the Duke of Edinburgh website here.