Moray young people and volunteers celebrate Duke of Edinburgh success at Holyrood Palace

Douglas Henderson, Abby Riach, Lauren Moggach, Rhona Sword, Craig Lauder, Gemma Hoe, William Angus, Bronwen Johnson, Cameron Moggach, Lauren Cross, Nathan Moir, Amber Lees and Eilidh Maclean.

Last week, 13 young people from the Moray area attended a presentation in the gardens of Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, where they received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award after sharing their experiences with HRH The Earl of Wessex.

HRH also presented Karen Highmore, from Elgin, with a certificate of appreciation for 23 years of service as a DofE volunteer.

Gold Award recipients were Douglas Henderson, Abby Riach, Lauren Moggach, Rhona Sword, Craig Lauder, Gemma Hoe, William Angus, Bronwen Johnson, Cameron Moggach, Lauren Cross, Nathan Moir, Amber Lees and Eilidh Maclean.

During the Gold Award Presentation, HRH congratulated the group on their successes and heard about their DofE journeys, which took each young person 12-18 months of hard work and dedication.

Those who achieve a Gold DofE Award volunteer, learn a skill, get fit, take part in a week long residential and plan and undertake an expedition in wild country. Widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people, DofE programmes enable any young person, aged 14-24, to develop key skills for life and work, such as confidence, commitment and team working.

Speaking about her DofE experience, participant Rhona Sword said: “The best thing that I learned from doing my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was how to enjoy myself. Through being put into new and exciting situations with people I would otherwise have not met, I gained a lot of independence and discovered my own voice, which led to me becoming a much more confident and relaxed individual.”

Moray Council Leader Graham Leadbitter said: “A huge congratulations to the Moray recipients of Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, which are a fantastic achievement and one that requires significant dedication of time and effort from each participant. I know they will have thoroughly enjoyed their experience and it is a great thing to have on your CV as you move from education into the workplace.

“As well as the achievement being celebrated by those receiving the awards it is also hugely rewarding for the dedicated staff and volunteers who support the scheme. As someone who achieved Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards I have personally benefited from the programme and it gave me a wide range of skills and experiences that I continue to use on a daily basis.”

Barry Fisher, Director for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Scotland, said: “Congratulations to the young people from Moray who received their Gold Awards last week. Nearly 300 young people started a DofE Award with Moray Council last year. We continue to work with our partners in the Council to ensure all young people in Moray who want to do their DofE programme have the chance to take part – regardless of their background or abilities. I look forward to seeing even more young people from Moray achieving their Gold Awards next year.”