Michael Sullivan

In an increasingly focused "digital world" The Duke of Edinburgh's Award provided me with the oppertunity I needed to find my love for exploring the outdoors whilst also enabling me to develop a many key skills which I utilise daily in my line of work today. Alongside learning/developing many new skills, taking part in new sports and travelling to to all four corners of the UK and beyond for my residential section with the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. The DofE award has undoubtedly shaped the person I am today and I will always be thankful for that opportunity and the many many cherished memories and friends I made through completing my Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

Now, in 2021 I work in a secondary school as a pastoral manager for the Upper School. Forever grateful to those volunteers who provided me with the opportunity to undertake my DofE awards I felt compelled to repay the volunteers who helped me and so in 2019 with the blessing of the Headteacher I set up our school as a DofE centre with the help of our Regional team where I am currently the DofE Manager. Unfortunately, the global shutdown has prevented us from completing any awards as yet but we have over 80 students across various year groups lined up and set to complete their Bronze awards upon successful completion of their expedition sections in July 2021 which will be a first for the school.

As a staff team we are blown away by the determination and resilience shown by our participants during the tough "lockdown months" with many students making a real difference to their local communities through effective volunteering. We look forward to the celebrations that will follow our young peoples DofE achievements in July and in the years to come. The pandemic may have brought uncertainty, but what is certain is that the DofE award has become a part of the fabric of our school community and that won't be changing anytime soon!

- Mr M Sullivan (Bronze/Silver/Gold Award Holder & DofE Manager)