Clyde beats disability to gain DoE gold award
A 25 year-old from Eastbourne has overcome his disability to achieve the gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Clyde Barnett was rewarded for his hard work with an invitation to a presentation at St James’s Palace attended by the Earl of Wessex.
Clyde was born was dyspraxia and has poor co-ordination, weakness on his right side and learning difficulties. When he was eight, he caught a polio-like virus which resulted in partial paralysis of his other arm and hand, and weakness in his left leg too.
But Clyde, who had already gained the bronze and silver levels, took just 12 months to complete all five sections of the gold award before his 25th birthday, which is the maximum age to finish the award.
He is the first participant to gain a gold award at the Duke of Edinburgh Centre, which was set up in 2010 by Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (SASBAH).
To achieve the award, Clyde helped at a residential holiday for other people with disabilities, took part in swimming and cycling, volunteered at SASBAH’s social enterprise centre Saspire and completed a photography and PowerPoint project.
He also attended a five-day expedition in the Forest of Dean with Duke of Edinburgh participants from around the country.
He said “The expedition was really challenging but great fun. It was hard but I finished. I made loads of new friends and we’re keeping in touch regularly on Facebook and Skype.”
Outside the palace, Clyde spoke proudly about his achievement and his delight in completing all three levels of the award programme.
He said, “I nearly gave up when I was doing silver, but SASBAH encouraged me to keep going and gave me support to do the gold as well. I’m really pleased.”
SASBAH’s Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator George Collier and general manager Rom Sanglaji were invited to St James’s Palace to see Clyde presented with his certificate.
George said, “Young people of all abilities can take part and achieve success in the nationally recognised programme.”
Rom Sanglaji added, “Not only have they developed new skills, they have grown as individuals as well – with more independence, better people skills and greater self-confidence.
“They enjoy taking part in expeditions with their friends and best of all, they have fun doing it.
“Clyde can be justifiably proud of gaining his gold award, as everyone at SASBAH is of him.”
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Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
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