School receives funding for prestigious award scheme

Some of the students who are doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award. They are pictured with teacher Mrs Patience.
Some of the students who are doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award. They are pictured with teacher Mrs Patience.

A major funding boost will help students take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which has restarted at an Amble school.

James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) has received a grant of £8,212 from The Big Lottery Fund to purchase kit for pupils’ upcoming expeditions, as part of the world-leading youth achievement programme.

It is an important cash injection which will significantly reduce the overall cost incurred for each pupil to complete the award. It comes on the back of £5,000 from The Queen’s Trust to restart the award at JCSC.

Philip Anderson, JCSC’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Centre manager, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded £8,212 from The Big Lottery Fund in order to invest in kit for our newly-formed Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Centre.

“We restarted this because I felt that the students should have the opportunity to complete the award while at school and there was sufficient amount of pupil interest.

“The Lottery funding has been used to purchase the majority of kit that participants need to safely complete their expeditions. This also allows us to be an organisation that strives to be accessible to all, significantly reducing the costs incurred by participants to undertake their awards.

“Our students will benefit from the new kit for years to come and as a result of gaining their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award they will improve their employability skills.”

There are currently 47 students enrolled onto the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award and it is hoped that this will grow over the next few years.

Mr Anderson added: “We are very much looking forward to testing the kit over the coming expedition season. In the coming years, we aim to offer our students the opportunity to complete the Bronze, Silver and Gold Award while at school.”

The students will be going on their practice expedition after the Easter holidays along the Northumberland coastline. Later this year, it is likely that we will look to do their qualifying expedition around Hadrian’s Wall.

One of the pupils who has signed up to the Award is Taylor Enstone, 15, from Broomhill. She said: “It will be a good experience and it will be a lot of fun and doing the award will help with our employability skills.”