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A weekend of stunning scenery and learning leadership

Arran Outdoor Education Centre, based in their purpose built centre in Lamlash, hosted 24 new and experienced DofE Leaders for their first Leaders’ seminar of 2015.

arran event leaders

The weekend was organised by the North Ayrshire DofE development workers Ross Muir and Gavin Ferguson and had delegates from the open centres and the local school based groups and was aimed at giving an update on working practices, sharing ideas and opportunities, as well as having a good time.

first aidThe Principal Officer, John McNight gave a presentation on the Council’s ongoing commitment to the DofE and for a framework for growth. He also took the opportunity to celebrate the 25 years achievement of volunteering to DofE by Paul Tulloch, which in no way overshadowed the birthday celebrations of another volunteer and worker Sarah Bentley.

The workshops looked at sharing ideas on supporting completions, expedition safety, eDofE, work with participants with additional support needs, team building and navigation games and a frank Q&A session.

On the Sunday the delegates walked up to Cloudbase and came across some unfortunate young people who had a few 'accidents', so were called upon to assist. (Many thanks to the Arran Award Group for their help with this).

A successful weekend for the North Ayrshire team and we look forward to welcoming many of them to the upcoming expedition festival and the Scottish Conference later in the year, that is if we don't see them on the hills before.


Young women smash cultural barriers to achieve DofE Awards

The achievements of fifty ethnically and culturally diverse young women from Edinburgh have celebrated at a parliamentary reception with Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP on Wednesday, 14th January 2015. The inspirational young women all overcame significant cultural and personal challenges to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award sectional certificates.

Sikh Sanjog certificate recipients

The young women acheived their Awards through an inclusion project in 5 schools across Edinburgh. The DofE helped these women gain confidence and support in sometimes challenging family circumstances.

Kismet Singh, a participant, said: “The group gives me so much to look forward to, I love how the staff understand my needs and support me when thinking about what I want to do when I leave school.”

The DofE Inclusion project is currently run by Sikh Sanjog Youth Service. A charity advocating the rights and reposnibilities of Scotland’s ethnically and culturally diverse women, with a view to mainstreaming service to target inequality and social exclusion with vulnerable ethnically and culturally diverse young women in secondary schools.

Many of the participants in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Inclusion Project may be facing social exclusion and inequality in their lives. Through doing their Award they are gaining the confidence and skills to overcome barriers and get their lives on a positive track.

Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said: “It was a pleasure for me as Presiding Officer to recognise the achievements of these young women in the Scottish Parliament. I was particularly pleased to learn about the positive personal journeys that the project has enabled and it is inspiring to hear how these young women are finding their voice, which this Parliament fully supports.”

Khaleda Noon, Youth Development Manager at Sikh Sanjog, said: “I’m thrilled to see so many diverse young women taking part in achieveing and standing up for what they believe in, making a difference for the invisible voices within society. The project has been an amazing journey, seeing confidence and self worth grow in each and every one of them.

The Royal High School and Duke of Edinburgh alliance with Sikh Sanjog Youth Service has been a pioneering movement to break negative traditions and informing practice to the learning and wider community. We believe and strive for inclusion and that all young people should leave school with educated, nurtured and alive minds and that a life of no prospects, is not an option.”

Barry Fisher, DofE Director, Scotland, said: “The achievements of the young women here tonight are truly outstanding. The DofE is committed to provding young people from all different backgrounds the opportunity to improve their life chances through the programme and the speakers here tonight really deomstrate how this is happening in Edinburgh.

Because of the impact its made on these young women, the inclusion project will be expanding next year, with the addion of the DofE inclusion project as a subject choice to the curriculum at The Royal High School. The DofE along with Sikh Sanjog Youth Service will continue to support young women to become leaders in their community and challenge expectations of what they can do with their lives.”

To find out more about the Sikh Sanjog Youth Services visit www.sikhsanjog.com



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The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
Rosebery House
9 Haymarket Terrace
EH12 5EZ
phone: 0131 343 0920
Email: scotland@DofE.org  

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