Some pupils from Kyle Academy at the presentation
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Nearly 400 young people from across South Ayrshire, who have achieved one of The Duke of Edinburgh's Awards in the last year, were recognised at a special ceremony at The Princess Royal Suite at Ayr Racecourse attended by over 700 people.
There were 242 Bronze, 102 Silver and 47 Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Awards presented in front of invited guests including South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan and a number of South Ayrshire Councillors.
The Council has the highest participation and completion rates inThe Duke of Edinburgh's Award across all 32 Scottish local authorities. This reflects the Council's innovative and proactive approach to recognising wider achievement by our young people.
South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan who presented the awards said: "South Ayrshire Council remains in pole position as the leading local authority in Scotland when it comes to completed Duke of Edinburgh's Awards.
"The presentation ceremony was an opportunity to congratulate some remarkable young people on successfully completing their Duke of Edinburgh's Award through South Ayrshire Council. Every certificate is as unique and as valuable as the young person who achieved it."
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is open to young people aged between 14 and 25 years, who undertake the Award at either Bronze, Silver or Gold levels with each level's programme including sections on volunteering, physical, skills and expedition. Gold participants also have to complete a residential section.
Projects undertaken by South Ayrshire participants in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award include volunteering in the local community, dancing, environmental projects, art and craft activities and physical challenges including hiking and snowboarding.
Projects completed during 2011 included canoe building at Ayr, Belmont, Carrick and Kyle Academies; a Scottish Coastal Rowing Project involving Carrick Academy, Marr College and the Troon community who built a St Ayle's Skiff boat; a sailing expedition to the Turkish coast with pupils from Marr College, Prestwick Academy and Queen Margaret Academy; a walking expedition to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco organised by the Adventure Centre for Education in Girvan; and support for young people undertaking a modern apprenticeship in aviation engineering with GE Caledonian.
Councillor Hywel Davies, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Education, said: "The Duke of Edinburgh's Award provides real opportunities for young people to achieve and learn relevant work and life skills and through schools and community groups, young people across South Ayrshire are achieving great things.
"In line with the principles of Curriculum for Excellence, we take a rounded and holistic approach to the education and development of our young people and this is clearly paying dividends with The Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
"The Award offers a fun and interesting way to develop key skills and knowledge while making friends and enjoying some incredible life experiences and all of this stands our young people in very good stead for the future.
Here are some comments from some of the participants:
- It's great fun and a good opportunity.
- Met new people I wouldn't normally have spoken to.
- It is a very rewarding experience and increases your confidence as an individual.
- Became more independent and learnt new skills.
- It's a great unique experience.
- It's an amazing experience you'll never forget.
- It has helped me learn new life skills.