Partnership to help local students create new life experiences as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The Leeds United Sports College and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) are entering into a new partnership in the city to help local students participate in and experience the benefits of completing their DofE.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged from 14 to 24. Undertaking the programme gives young people the opportunity to not only experience new activities but also develop their existing skills.
There are three levels of progression as part of the initiative which when successfully completed lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Youngsters that take on the DofE Award can create their own programme of events by choosing a volunteering, physical and skills activity, going on an expedition and for the Gold Award only, taking part in a residential activity.
There are currently around 462,000 young people doing their DofE in the UK and over 153,000 achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award each year. They are supported by around 40,000 Leaders that work on the scheme.
The new partnership between the two parties has been enhanced by the DofE’s Diamond fund, enabling Leeds United to develop DofE provision for disadvantaged participants in Leeds. The Diamond fund is made up of £1.5 million raised by over 15,000 supporters during the Charity’s Diamond Anniversary year (2016), £1 million from the #iwill fund for England – a joint investment from The National Lottery and the Department of Culture, support from Media and Sport for the young people giving them access to high quality social action opportunities and additional DofE donations to double the Diamond Anniversary fundraising efforts in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
With a total of £3 million to invest over the next four years, the charity aims to work with Leeds United and other licensed organisations to give more young people the chance to develop life-changing skills and attributes – such as communication, determination and teamwork. Completing one or all of the DofE awards will benefit a young person’s life and work, helping them to create new friendships and gain the confidence to reach their full potential.
Mark Shipley, DofE Operations Manager for West Yorkshire, said: “I am delighted to announce this new partnership with Leeds United, which will enable a number of young people from the Leeds United Sports College to start their DofE and gain valuable skills for future employment.
“The Diamond Funding will enable participants to access their DofE and develop many skills for both life and work. We look forward to an exciting partnership between both sides developing in the new season.”