Youngsters receive their DofE awards

YOUNGSTERS from across Eastbourne were among the first to complete Duke of Edinburgh award schemes at the Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (SASBAH).

Former BBC television presenter Beverley Thompson, who is president of the Association, was on hand to present the certificates and prizes to the locals who took part.

Four participants were presented with Bronze awards and badges: Chelsea Jeavons, Shawn Reynolds, Luke Sadler and Michael Reynolds; and Clyde Barnett received the Silver award.

Philip Higson was also invited up on stage to get his sectional certificates for the three parts he has completed so far.

To achieve a Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award, each person has to regularly take part in volunteering, a host of physical activities, develop new skills and take up a hobby or interest.

They also have to train for, practice and complete a two or three-day expedition as part of a small team. It takes a minimum of six months to achieve a Bronze award, and twelve months for Silver.

The Eastbourne group volunteered at a stack of charity shops, took up swimming, learned to play the piano, manned the decks as budding DJs and turned their hand to photography and cookery.

Clyde Barnett said he particularly enjoyed doing a photography project about the Bronze group’s expedition training. He said, “It’s a shame it’s all over because I had more fun than I’ve had in a long time.”

He has now enrolled to do the Gold DofE award.

The presentation was held at Bourne Free youth club and everyone was welcomed by Hilary Lewis, chairman of SASBAH’s trustees. Each of the young people was introduced by DofE co-ordinator, George Collier, who described their activities and achievements.

SASBAH general manager Rom Sanglaji was delighted with the success of the centre and the achievements of the young people taking part.

He said “Not only have they all developed new skills, they have grown as individuals as well - with more independence, better people skills and greater self-confidence.

“They enjoyed taking part in the DofE expedition with their friends and best of all, they had fun doing it.”