As a mark of respect and recognition for the work of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh , Prince Phillip especially with young people the flag was at half-mast in Ecclesbourne . One of our students, Jacob Smith, who participated in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme reflects on the impact it has had in his life.
One of the best decisions I made was to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. It was hard work at times but as a result of that, the award was all the more rewarding. Undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Gold awards helped push me out of my comfort zone and build my self-confidence and preparatory skills. There are aspects of the scheme which require teamwork, but you also need to be self-motivated in order to complete all the aspects of the scheme.
For the sports section, I joined a badminton club which I would not have done had it not been for the scheme. I improved my playing ability as well as my fitness levels. For the skills section, I played the trumpet in a wind band, performed in concerts and had to demonstrate improvement in skill and technique.
My residential with YHA was fantastic. I was with other DofE students of similar ages from across the country, so it acted as a great way to meet new people. The residential lasted 5 days in total in which we had to paint a room, after which we had free time where we could go and explore the local area or just socialise. With this being one of the first times that I had to properly plan meals and manage time in such a way, this has really helped with going to university and having to provide for myself.
Planning and going through with an expedition is something that I will always remember. It starts with looking at maps and then planning the route and timings. The hike was challenging and long, but I feel that because of that, I was able to make some significant memories. The fact that we stuck together as a team, supported each other and got to the end together was important. The sense of completion for finishing is among the most fulfilling things I’ve achieved.