Stoke Poges Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Group
This group commenced in a small way over 25 years ago as part of what was known as the “Housewives Project”. It was then registered with Bucks County Council as a Voluntary Youth Group in 1991.
Up until the last 12 years, on average there have been 45 young people participating- in the last 5 years this has increased to around 100. They come from all over South Bucks, some coming in small friendship groups drawn from different schools.
The leaders are all volunteers and they enable young people to complete their awards at Bronze, Silver and Gold level either with administration (hugely increased over the years) or expertise in the fields of hobbies, sport or expedition.
Several Gold Award holders have come back to help when they can even though they have the constraints of work, further education and family life.
The group is self promoting with the young people being the main ambassadors together with the leaders being known within the community.
A local company, Hitachi Data Systems allows the group to meet in its dining room (and puts the drinks machine on free vend for the evening).
One full group meeting is held per term with interim meetings for expedition training and any other facets of the Award as needed. Most other contact is done through a newsletter, telephone or email, with participants being encouraged to use their initiative.
Without a team of dedicated leaders this group could not exist and be of such great value to the locality. All the leaders are CRB checked, hold current certificates in first aid, child protection and leadership training with the D of E to supervisor level and some to assessment level for expeditions.
Our chairperson is Anne Milne. Vikki Ashton and Mandy Harrod are the registered award leaders for Stoke Poges and Richard Lawrence, David Shillabeer, Anne Milne, Julia King and Mandy Harrod are expedition trainers.
More details can be found on the national website www.dofe.org and by contacting Mandy Harrod at amanda_harrod [Email address: amanda_harrod #AT# hotmail.co.uk - replace #AT# with @ ]