On 29th April 2018, the Sir Bobby Robson Ballroom at St George’s Park hosted John Taylor High School’s annual Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Presentation Evening. The event provided an opportunity for parents, JTHS staff and DofE volunteers and leaders to join students from years 10 to 13 as they collected their awards. It was an amazing evening with 106 students receiving their Bronze Awards, 46 students receiving their Silver Awards and a very impressive 22 students receiving their Gold Awards. Gold Award recipients, Lizzie and Lorna expertly hosted the evening. An inspiring speech, given by Mr John McAvoy, taught students the importance of building a legacy that lasts by helping others.
As well as the main awards, two very special awards were presented. Year 11 student Lois received the Colin Kellett Memorial Award for outstanding contribution. Lois, who received her Silver Award, so impressed the leaders and volunteers by her determination and leadership qualities that the award, usually reserved for a Gold Award recipient, was presented to her. Lois also delivered a passionate account of how DofE has impacted so positively on her as an individual.
The second special award, the Holly Brown Memorial Award, was presented to Bronze Group 2 who were recognised by leaders in in having gone beyond what is usually expected of a team when completing their expeditions. Presented for the first time this year, this award has been introduced to remember Holly who tragically lost her life in July last year, the day before she was due to embark on her Bronze expedition. Holly was part of Group 2 and they completed their expedition in September and are deserved recipients of this award.
Fund-raising is a central part of the DofE programme in its aim to allow young people to support others less fortunate than themselves. This year has been no exception and it was with gratitude that £1000 raised in donations was presented to the Footprints Orphanage Charity in Kenya.
Whilst praise should go to the students for their amazing achievements, huge thanks must also go to Martin and Karen Hulbert and their team of volunteers. Without their unwavering support for the students and the hundreds of hours of time they commit each year to training the students, this valuable extra-curricular activity would not be possible. Thank you also to Mr Fogarty for his work in promoting DofE to our students in school.

Posted by J Twynham