Very proud - Some of the Gold Award winners
Programme to remain funded following budget consultation
Hundreds of young people from across South Ayrshire are celebrating after being recognised with a Duke of Edinburgh's Award. More than 800 guests attended the special ceremony at Ayr Racecourse on Thursday, 22 February.
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.
South Ayrshire has the highest rate of DofE participation of Scotland's local authorities with 50% of 15 and 16 year olds taking part. At this year's ceremony 503 people were recognised, with 81 Gold, 124 Silver and 298 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards presented, marking the culmination of hours of individual work and group activity.
Activities include: project work in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM), charity work, sports coaching, team sports, playing a musical instrument, learning to drive, fitness activities, dance, horse riding, life-saving, acting & drama.
Future funding for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award was part of the recent 'Balancing the Budget' consultation. Through this process people demonstrated clear support for the positive programme. In response to this, South Ayrshire Council has now committed to continue to fund the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning said the programme was one the best in the country, "Following overwhelming support from communities across South Ayrshire I'm pleased to confirm that we will continue to support the hugely successful Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.
"With high levels of engagement from our young people, every year participants become more active in their community, while at the same time learning a set of skills that employers, colleges and universities all find attractive.
"In this, the Year of Young People, I'd like to congratulate all those celebrating success in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award following all their hard work and dedication, and wish them all the best of luck as they look to achieving their next set of personal goals."