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Earl of Wessex meets successful participants of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in Thurrock

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a youth charity to help young people build life and work skills, has involved thousands of children ages 14-24 across the United Kingdom.

Many of Thurrock‘s youth have taken part in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and a celebration was held on 17th March to highlight the success of the programme.

The Earl of Wessex took time to visit Thurrock Council’s office to meet local young people currently taking part in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, along with the staff who support them.

The Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Steve Liddiard, and Council Chief Executive, Graham Farrant, greeted The Earl, along with Lord Petre, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Essex outside the Civic Offices in New Road, Grays.

Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, and Carmel Littleton, who is the Council’s Director of Children’s Services, joined the group before they went on to meet with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Manager, Dave Petrie.

The Borough’s academy based Award teams, led by Barbara King, head teacher at The Ockendon Academy, and Award Participants from Grays Convent, William Edwards, and St Clere’s were next to meet with The Earl of Wessex. Prince Edward then went on to speak to those from the Borough’s voluntary centres, including Stanford Open Award Centre (SOAC) and Ockendon & Aveley Kids (OAKs), which are run by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

To finish his busy day, The Prince met with Michele Lucas, the Council’s Learning and Skills Manager, and leader of the Council, Cllr John Kent, who were presented with the Council’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Operating Licence.

Thurrock’s mayor said: “It was a pleasure to highlight and celebrate how much work Thurrock is doing with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and to see the young people enjoy explaining their experiences and their hopes for the future.”

“Thurrock Council puts education at the heart of everything it does; creating an aspirational Borough with people ready and willing to take advantage of the many opportunities our regeneration plans will bring.”

“The experiences provided by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award are second to none and stay with them for the rest of their lives, making them not only more rounded individuals, but the sort of people employers are looking for.”

From 1st April 2013 – 31st March 2014 there were 300,000 youth taking place in the DofE programme in the UK, 10% of which were new starters. The 12,735 centres take around 50,000 volunteers to run. Since 1956, there have been over eight million participants globally. To find out more or to learn about how you can help out, please visit their website.

Photo Credit: Earl of Wessex Flickr

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