03:02AM, Wednesday 02 October 2013
A teenager has urged young people to get involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (DofE) as the Royal Borough's licence to operate the scheme was renewed.
The DofE combines volunteering, skills development and expeditions.
Participants work towards bronze, silver and gold level awards.
Andrew Burdett, of Furze Platt, joined the borough's group in 2010. The 17-year-old is due to receive his gold award this winter.
The borough group spent part of the summer on an expedition to Scotland.
They canoed through the Great Glen, battling midges and ever changing weather from Fort William to Inverness.
"The DofE offers so much to so many people," said Andrew, who is head boy at Furze Platt Senior School.
"To individuals on it there's the obvious advantages. How to lead groups and be a team player, as well as having those skills for work and university applications.
"To the wider community there's a whole other reason for doing it. Those hundreds of hours volunteering for really worthy causes."
The council's licence has been renewed following a thorough inspection of the youth service’s delivery of the DofE programme.
Cllr Phill Bicknell, cabinet member for children’s services, said: "I am delighted the award inspectors are satisfied we are providing a quality service that takes account of the support, training and monitoring of new and existing leaders and volunteers within the scheme.
"To renew our licence we had to show that we have the correct policies and procedures in place regarding insurance, child protection, health and safety, volunteering, equal opportunities and service level agreements."
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