Cymoedd celebrate Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Over thirty Cymoedd learners were presented with their Duke of Edinburgh Awards at a special ceremony to mark the occasion. Assistant Principal Karen Workman attended the celebration at the Nantgarw campus to congratulate the learners and present them with their certificates and badges. The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award provides an opportunity for young people, aged 14 -25 years to experience challenge and adventure and acquire new skills.

This has been an amazing year for the college with excellent outcomes; three groups of Duke of Edinburgh Award learners from the Pathway 2, Life Skills and Independence Entry Levels 1 and 2 and Sport and Public Service, Foundation E3 courses, all achieved their full Award.

On May 25th the first group to embark on their Challenge was the Silver Group. The mixed group set off on their first walk of the weekend from the Wetland Centre, Llanelli to Cae Mawr in the Swiss Valley. After a nights camping they set off on Day 2 to tackle the long walk to Pembrey and Day 3 involved the exploration of Pembrey Park to include the historical aspects too.

Following the success of the Silver Group in May, on June 15th the first Bronze Group set off on their two-day expedition from Sandy Water Park, Llanelli to Pembrey, with the second Bronze Group following in their footsteps on June 22nd.

Speaking about the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme and the success of Cymoedd learners, Karen said, “The college is delighted with the increased participation and proud of the learners who have completed the Awards.

Vocational Access learners, attend the college with all sorts of daily challenges and hurdles to overcome, they then follow a curriculum with additional challenges to help them become more independent. The Duke of Edinburgh Award adds a little more challenge because the learners are then out of their comfort zone and normality. The challenges they face include walking independently, map reading or hand-railing and camping out over a night or two! They also have to cook for themselves using a Trangia and of course, they have to work as part of a team to help each other achieve the Award as a team”.

To ensure the Programme has the best outcome for the learners, following the expeditions the learners spend time discussing their experiences and what they enjoyed or not, what could be improved next time and most importantly what they had learnt about themselves. Some of the comments from this year’s cohort included “I didn’t realise I could dig so deep, I was not going to give up” (Evan) and “I have never seen the night sky, the stars were amazing” (Thomas). A clear message from all learners was how they had worked together as a team when they were under pressure.

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Aberdare
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