Duke of Edinburgh gold for Southwater teenager

Robert Cox from Southwater with Mark Spofforth, high sheriff of West Sussex (photo by Liam Hoad). SUS-160715-111307001
Robert Cox from Southwater with Mark Spofforth, high sheriff of West Sussex (photo by Liam Hoad). SUS-160715-111307001

A Southwater teenager is among the latest to achieve gold in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

This year 85 young people in West Sussex completed their DoE Gold Awards and were presented with their certificates by the county’s high sheriff Mark Spofforth at a special ceremony on Sunday July 3 at the Hilton Avisford Park Hotel in Arundel.

Cllr Debbie Kennard, Cllr Peter Evans, Cllr Pat Arculus, Mark Spofforth DL, Hannah Cordrey, Katie Draper, Robert Cox, Hilary Maywood, Patrick Burgess DL, Geoff Hurst, David Long (photo by Liam Hoad) SUS-160715-105159001

Cllr Debbie Kennard, Cllr Peter Evans, Cllr Pat Arculus, Mark Spofforth DL, Hannah Cordrey, Katie Draper, Robert Cox, Hilary Maywood, Patrick Burgess DL, Geoff Hurst, David Long (photo by Liam Hoad) SUS-160715-105159001

The scheme sees participants volunteer for a year, take on physical and skills-based activities, and tackle both a four-day expedition and shared activity in a residential setting.

Robert Cox, 18, from Southwater, said: “I learnt about team work and leadership which helped me get a job at John Lewis. There was a group interview which I passed, as I had confidence to give my opinions and have more authority than the other candidates. Doing DofE feels like a massive achievement, which I’m really proud of.”

Supported by the Young People’s Service, 58 centres are delivering DofE in West Sussex to 9,571 participants.

These are from schools, colleges, special schools, open award centres and independent organisations.

This year’s awards ceremony was hosted by Patrick Burgess, deputy lieutenant and chairman of the West Sussex DofE County Committee.

He said: “It’s been buzzing with inspiration and people inspiring each other.”

During the event Pat Arculus, West Sussex County Council’s chairman, expressed how important it is for all young people to have access to DofE.

She said: “Each time you undertake a personal challenge, you grow a little more and gain more valuable life experience.

“Forget the ‘careers ladder’ as we are more in a time of ‘careers snakes and ladders’. However, the DofE gives you a new and better ladder, to move on to a good career.”

To find out more about taking part in West Sussex email d.of.e.award.youth@westsussex.gov.uk, or contact a school, college, youth group or one of the five open centres in the county.

Hundreds attend the Exceptional People in Care (EPIC) Awards to celebrate the achievements of West Sussex’s young people.

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