College aims high...

…as over 100 achieve their DofE – and more to follow

Emmerdale’s James Sutton presented more than 100 young people with their Bronze DofE Awards at St John Plessington Catholic College last night and achievement certificates to a further 41.

In a bid to give all their pupils the chance to do their DofE, the school offered an entire year group the opportunity to do their Bronze last year. 146 pupils completed the expedition and 105 young people achieved their Bronze DofE Award. Six ScottishPower Apprentices were also presented with their Bronze DofE Awards at the ceremony.

St John Plessington Catholic College has been able to increase The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award group thanks to the support of ScottishPower and the backing of teaching staff who have given up their own time to make it happen. Head Teacher, Tom Quinn, is aiming for 100% participation in the DofE. He said,

“We are delighted at the magnificent response from our young people to the challenge of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Having so many of our pupils showing the commitment, dedication and focus required means we are continuing to nurture a generation with a sense of justice, responsibility and service which they will use to contribute greatly to their community. We are very proud to celebrate their achievements.”

Teachers have seen the impact of the DofE translated into the classroom with pupils discovering new skills including leadership, dedication and self-confidence. The outstanding achievements of two pupils were recognised in a special award, presented to 14 year-old Joseph Shields and Hannah O’Neill also 14 years old.

Ann Loughrey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at ScottishPower,

“At ScottishPower, we are dedicated to helping the next generation develop the required skills to succeed in the future. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an excellent programme which gives young people the opportunity to develop their leadership, communication and problem solving skills, having a lasting impact on their life chances.

“Since the beginning of our partnership, nearly 600 teenagers on Merseyside who previously would not have had access to participate have completed their DofE. We are extremely pleased that St John Plessington Catholic College have seen the benefit of offering the programme to a whole year group of students, with 105 students as well as six ScottishPower apprentices being presented with their Bronze DofE Award. “

Last year, more than 20,000 young people started their DofE in the north west of England, with 9,884 DofE awards achieved. All participants doing their DofE have to volunteer regularly for a minimum of three months and more than 430,000 volunteering hours were given back to communities in the region with a social value of more than £3million. Pupils at St John Plessington Catholic College have been involved in a wide range of community projects as part of their DofE, including working with park wardens, local charity shops, assisting in primary schools with Brownies, Scouts groups and youth clubs.

Robbie Johnston, the DofE North West Director, said,

“We are delighted that so many more schools in the north west are recognising the importance of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. When young people leave school they need to be able to demonstrate that they have the skills employers are looking for. The DofE gives young people the chance to discover new dimensions to their abilities and the confidence to tackle all that life can throw at them. Thanks to ScottishPower’s support we are expanding in Liverpool, the Wirral and Merseyside, offering the DofE to more young people than ever before.”

Research shows that the DofE speeds up young people’s development, preparing them for life and work, and develops the skills, attitudes and attributes that employers are crying out for in their workforce: commitment, communication skills, leadership and teamwork. Many employers recognise DofE Award holders as future employees, and research shows that a DofE Award is the most important thing on a CV after academic qualifications.

With the number of young jobless at a record high, and unemployment among Britain’s graduates at its highest level for 17 years, the DofE welcomes new partners which will help the Charity increase its reach, particularly into disadvantaged communities.

Clg Aims

James Sutton pictured with a Bronze Award holder.

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