Two local young people are celebrating after receiving prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards from HRH Prince Philip.
Kim Hamilton from Craigyhill Girls Brigade and Andrew Dickson from Killinchy Activity Group received the honour at a ceremony in Hillsborough Castle on May 20.
The pair were among 67 young people from across Northern Ireland who were presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award by the charity’s founder, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KGKT, in the sixtieth anniversary year of the awards.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh congratulated the young Gold Award achievers, who had secured the award after volunteering in their community, learning a skill, getting fit, going on an expedition and taking part in a week-long residential.
The DofE is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary throughout 2016, having supported millions of young people in the UK and across the globe to achieve DofE Awards since it was founded in 1956.
The prestigious Gold Award Presentation at Hillsborough Castle is one of many memorable events taking place to celebrate 60 years of the Charity.
Director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award/Joint Award Initiative in Northern Ireland, Kate Thompson said: “Young people participating in the programme are encouraged to push themselves outside of their comfort zones when doing their DofE/JAI programme and the skills that they develop can be life-changing.
“Together with our licensed organisation partners the DofE/JAI is inspiring the success of young people; equipping them with the attributes and skills to get a job and build strong relationships whilst opening up their worldsand introducing them to a broad range of interests.”
Currently, there are over 300,000 young people doing a DofE programme across the UK through a variety of centres including both grammar and secondary schools, special schools, businesses, prisons, young offender institutions, and youth groups.
In Northern Ireland 8,500 young people sign up to do their Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE/JAI programmes each year and around 25,000 are actively working on the programmes at any one time.
To celebrate its 60th year, the Charity has launched the DofE Diamond Challenge.
This one-off initiative allows people of all ages to take on a DofE inspired challenge and earn their Diamond Pin.
Signing up to The DofE Diamond Challenge has an amazing double benefit –whilst challenging yourself, pushing your boundaries, you’re also raising money for the DofE Charity so that it can transform the lives of more young people and offer free places andbursary grants to those most in need.
For more informaition about the DofE, visit www.DofE.org.
To find out how you can support the charity in its Diamond Anniversary year, go to www.DofEDiamondChallenge.org.