A huge congratulations to six of our Grafton Centre learners who have completed their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award this year.

Each week the learners have dedicated time and effort, working individually and as a team to complete their Duke of Edinburgh programme. The award requires 4 completed units; – volunteering, physical activities, skills and expedition, all of which have been a memorable journey for the team.

A particularly memorable time for the group has been their contribution to the community, through their various volunteering duties. This has included dog walking, cleaning a local church and recycling. The local community have expressed how thrilled they were to have the extra help, whilst a personal tutor from the Grafton Education Centre said: –

“The group are much more confident, sociable and organised” Personal Tutor 2018

The team completed a diverse physical training programme in preparation for the expedition, which included circuit training, weights and using hoola hoops, building strength and confidence within the team.

In an effort to build on their skills, three of our learners visited the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre and participated in nature trails where they could collect tree rubbings, practice their navigation skills by using a compass and a Stiperstones walk. The Long Mynd provided a cold and windy trek for our additional three learners, who were able to collect tree rubbings whilst gaining valuable map and navigation skills.

Finally, the most challenging, but also the most memorable element of the journey, was their night away using tents and chalets. In preparation for the big expedition, the team practiced packing and carrying their bags, working as team and organising boots and waterproofs for the big event. A trial night away was also arranged, although the weather was a bit wet it didn’t dampen the experience and it was a valuable insight into the big adventure they needed to complete for their award.

Luckily, the weather was glorious on their second night away and the team could enjoy building friendships, cooking hot dogs, pot noodles, porridge and making their own sandwiches for lunch the next day. When the team were asked about their favourite moments of the experience one of the learners said; –

“My favourite part was sleeping under the stars” DoE Participant 2018

All the activities for the award have been documented in individual scrap books, which the team have enjoyed sticking in lots of memorable photos. The books, which were presented at this year’s celebration day, will no doubt inspire future opportunities and activities as they look towards the next year.