A woman from Bognor Regis is among the latest to achieve Gold in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
This year 85 young people in West Sussex completed their DofE Gold Awards and were presented with their certificates by the county’s high sheriff Mark Spofforth at a special ceremony on Sunday July 3 at the Hilton Avisford Park Hotel in Arundel.
The scheme sees participants volunteer for a year, take on physical and skills-based activities, and tackle both a four-day expedition and shared activity in a residential setting.
Katie Draper, 25, from Bognor Regis, said: “DofE gave me confidence to stand up for myself and believe that I could do it. With this confidence, I was able to prove that young women can not only read maps, but I also flew two types of light aircraft!
“For volunteering, I joined the charity, Restless Development, and delivered workshops on HIV/sexual health, abuse/sexual violence, health and wellbeing, and employability, in schools, clinics and youth centres in South Africa.”
Supported by the Young People’s Service, 58 centres are delivering DofE in West Sussex to 9,571 participants.
These are from schools, colleges, special schools, open award centres and independent organisations.
This year’s awards ceremony was hosted by Patrick Burgess, deputy lieutenant and chairman of the West Sussex DofE County Committee.
He said: “It’s been buzzing with inspiration and people inspiring each other.”
During the event Pat Arculus, West Sussex County Council’s chairman, expressed how important it is for all young people to have access to DofE.
She said: “Each time you undertake a personal challenge, you grow a little more and gain more valuable life experience.
“Forget the ‘careers ladder’ as we are more in a time of ‘careers snakes and ladders’. However, the DofE gives you a new and better ladder, to move on to a good career.”
To find out more about taking part in West Sussex email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact a school, college, youth group or one of the five open centres in the county.
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