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Prison celebrates success of delivering The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

HMI & YOI Parc in Bridgend is celebrating the success of delivering The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) as part of a unique project, which brings together prisoners and their families. Focussing  on addressing offending behaviour, and promoting positive family engagement, The Family Intervention Unit, established in 2010, has been delivering the DofE since 2014.

In 2015, three prisoners received a certificate in DofE Leadership and two of their children were awarded a Bronze DofE Award whilst another two children received sectional certificates for their Skills and Physical sections.

This family intervention project is the first of its kind in the UK where prisoners have been able to mentor their own children to work through each section of a DofE programme, and at the same time gain a valuable leadership qualification to enhance their own skills. In March, a second cohort of prisoners and young people have begun  work towards a DofE Leadership certificate and their Bronze DofE Award.

Stephanie Price, Director of DofE, Wales commented, “Thanks to a strong vision and passionate leadership from the Family Intervention Unit at Parc we have been able to deliver the DofE in a new setting. We congratulate all the participants  for the hard work and commitment made towards achieving their DofE Awards and we look forward to supporting more individuals to do the same”.

Corin Morgan-Armstrong, Head of Family Interventions & Invisible Walls Wales at Parc, said “This is a project which has delivered far more than we originally anticipated and which has bought together families in a unique way. There is already evidence to support that interventions of this nature within the custodial environment, are a causal factor in reducing reoffending, and derailing the drift into intergenerational crime.”

 The prisoners will participate in eight facilitated sessions which look at leadership skills and how to manage a DofE group. In addition to this, they will support DofE participants (aged 14-19) in cookery for the Skills section and ‘mobile team challenges’ for the Physical section.

Some of the comments made by the prisoners last year included: “I think I am more of a team player since becoming involved with the DofE”, “I love the quality time with my family and children and I have seen my children’s confidence grow” and “It has given me a confidence boost.”

 Hayley Morris, Family Intervention Lead on the family unit said “It was great to see the fathers spending quality time with their children, teaching them skills that they probably wouldn’t even do at home.”

2016 is the DofE’s Diamond Anniversary, celebrating 60 years since the DofE was founded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956.

During its Diamond Anniversary year the DofE will celebrate the achievements of millions of young people across the UK and the world whose lives have been transformed by their DofE experience, thank the hundreds of thousands of volunteers that have made that experience possible and fundraise for the future so the DofE Charity can continue to reach out to more young people.

At 60 years young, the DofE has never been more relevant for young people in the UK, providing a tried and tested framework of activities through which young people gain vital life and work skills. In the last 60 years, over 5.6 million young people have started their DofE in the UK and almost 2.5 million have achieved Awards.

The DofE has set a Diamond Ambition to enable two million young people to take part in the DofE by 2020, 400,000 of whom will be from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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