Derwen College is to award a trophy to an intrepid student each year in memory of a much-loved adventurous young woman.
The Gobowen specialist college, has been given the award – which will be presented every year to a student who has challenged themselves through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme – by The Kirstin Royle Trust.
The Kirstin Royle Trust was set up in 1993 in memory of Kirstin who died aged 22. The trust began with the aim of providing opportunities for young people to participate in challenging activities that give them a real sense of adventure. Kirstin was a kind and compassionate teacher who loved the outdoors, so it seemed natural that the trust provided opportunities for young people to participate in activities that would otherwise be very difficult for them.
After 25 years, the charitable trust is wrapping up its activities, and wanted to leave a lasting legacy with the college in the form of an award in her name.
“We specifically chose to donate the award to Derwen College due to their involvement with the trust in the past. Derwen College students participated in residential weekends at the Raymond Priestley Centre in the Lake District where they were encouraged to challenge themselves and embrace new opportunities,” explained trustee Arran Holdsworth.
“We hope the award will be handed out for endeavour and personal achievement for a student who has stepped out of their comfort zone and achieved something they did not think would be possible for them,” he added.
Sports and Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards co-ordinator Steve Evans said that Derwen College felt privileged to be asked to award a trophy in Kirstin’s name.
“Derwen have been linking with the Kirstin Royle Trust for the last few years as the trust has been part funding the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards residential placement at Lake Coniston each summer,” he said.
“We felt very honoured to be able to accept this award from the Kirstin Royle Trust, and look forward to presenting it to one of our Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards students for exceptional commitment and hard work.”
The trust has also made a contribution to the Raymond Priestley Centre in Coniston where Derwen College students spend time as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.
Derwen College is a specialist college for young adults with learning difficulties and disabilities. The college offers students the opportunity to learn new skills in real work environments and to learn life skills which will enable them to live as independently as possible. Last year, 60 learners from the college completed their D of E awards at Bronze, Silver or Gold levels.