Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Over the past four years Holly Lodge GirlsÂ’ College have been working In Partnership with Merseyside Police to develop the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. In this time we have increased our numbers to the highest that they have ever been and we have a record number of 48 students signed up from Year 10 – Year 13. We also have one of the highest number of Gold DofE participants in Liverpool.

We had several students from Holly Lodge attending an awards ceremony recently to receive their gold award this year at St JamesÂ’ Palace in London. Two of these former Gold students have now trained to be young leaders and assessors. They are positive young role models and this will enhance the capabilities of the school to be able to develop and be more successful.

Former Gold Student, Molly Pendleton has said how she “feels very lucky to have had the opportunity to take part in the DofE with her friends from school and is now grateful to be able to give something back to the school by being an assessor and young leader.” Molly goes on to say how she has enjoyed everything about the DofE and the training that Holly Lodge staff are still helping her with and will never forget the memories and skills that she has gained from this invaluable course.

There are three progressive levels of DofE programme which, when successfully completed, lead to Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

To achieve each one, participants must complete a programme of activities in four or five sections that involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.

Our girls have been volunteering across the city to help others. This ranges from cheering up residents in sheltered accommodation, working in British heart foundation charity shops and helping to fund raise for local charities. One student, Chantelle Day managed to raise ÂŁ740 for Marie Curie Cancer Care and donated a total of 20″ of her hair to The Teenage Cancer Trust.

For their skills we have several students working with Liverpool Youth Services completing the Arts awards along side their DofE and learning various new skills such as graphic design, photography and peer teaching. This included helping to run a DofE Treasure Hunt Challenge for Years 5 & 6 students and their families in the half-term holidays.

For the Expedition section we have walked miles and miles of countryside and visited places such as North Wales, The Lakes and Yorkshire. We have visited Castles, scrambled up Waterfalls and even walked along canals dressed as Ali G and pirates to raise money towards our trips and for charity!

As you can see, the DofE is a balanced programme, which develops the whole person in an environment of social interaction and team working. Students often come back from an expedition saying it was the best weekend of their life and that taking part in the DofE has been the best experience they have ever had. For the staff who volunteer their time, this is what makes it all worth while – knowing that you can help to have a huge impact on somebody and hopefully help them stand out for all the right reasons when they apply for university and to employers.