Derwen College has been supporting young adults with learning difficulties and disabilities through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards programme since 2014.
Derwen College was the first provider in Shropshire to run the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to a group of participants with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
The College began offering the Award in September 2014 with 11 students registering for the Bronze Award. In the six years since, 181 Awards have been achieved by 101 different students.
“The DofE programme challenges our students, giving them opportunities to develop skills for life and work. It promotes independence, pushing young people out of their comfort zone.”
“Our students have additional needs such as Autism, physical disabilities and communication difficulties. Despite these difficulties they go above and beyond to achieve. We see young people come through the programme with raised self-esteem and increased confidence.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is recognised nationally and is the world’s leading youth achievement award. It gives the participants the chance to develop skills for life and work, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future. Each section of the Award gives the students an opportunity to be independent, to grow in confidence and to be challenged as an individual – something we actively promote at Derwen College.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Sections
Derwen College supports students with each section of the Award and where necessary guides students to ensure the criteria is met. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an inclusive award which can be tailored to the individual, ensuring that each student gets the opportunity to take part and achieve.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award involves completing four sections: Volunteering, Physical activities, Skills and an Expedition. For participants on the Gold award, there is also a residential section. Find out more from the DofE website by following the links below:
Volunteering is about making a difference to other people’s lives. It enables you to give your time to help others, change things and make a positive contribution. Derwen College is registered Charity so there are many opportunities on campus to meet the criteria for the volunteering section. Whether it be volunteering in the gardens, in the Charity shop or helping other students and staff there are plenty of tasks to complete which can meet the criteria for the volunteering section.
The Physical section is a chance for you focus on your health and fitness. It gives you the opportunity to work towards a healthy lifestyle and contribute to your physical and mental wellbeing. Physical activities can all be added to your timetable and can include football, dance, gym work, spinning, swimming and walking. There are so many activities to choose from and the challenge isn’t against others it’s against yourself.
The Skills section encourages you to develop practical and social skills and pursue your personal interests. It is an opportunity to learn new skills and discover new things. Learning new skills can make you more confident and increase your self-esteem.
All awards involve planning, training for, and completing an expedition. The expedition will include camping overnight and preparing meals using camping equipment. The type of expedition and the number of nights away depends on the level of the Award. For Bronze participants, this is two days expedition with one night away. Silver, three days and two nights away. The Gold award involves three nights away and four days expedition.
The Residential section is for Gold Award participants only. At Derwen the residential involves five days and four nights away from home, meeting and working alongside new people. The residential is all about having new experiences, in a new environment and gaining new life skills.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award 2019