Three Towns residents were amongst North Ayrshire recipients of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award at a ceremony last week.
Stevenston woman Jordan Campbell and Darren Wright from Saltcoats joined Kilbirnie’s Marc Donati and Irvine’s Sarah Reid as they received the top award from the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip at the palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh.
North Ayrshire Provost Joan Sturgeon also attended the ceremony, where she met the participants and presented them with the Council’s Citizenship Award.
Provost Sturgeon said, “To receive the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award is a fantastic achievement.
“These young people have shown incredible commitment and put in a great deal of time and effort. They should be tremendously proud of themselves.”
The Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme is a programme of three levels, each requiring young people to take part in activities over four sections, culminating in the Gold Award.
North Ayrshire Council’s Duke of Edinburgh Awards development officer, Gavin Ferguson, noted, “Only a few young people who start the Duke of Edinburgh programme gain the Gold Award and it is a tremendous achievement for them and their group leaders.”
Mr Ferguson added, “The Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme is about developing young people’s ability to cope with challenges and to plan for the future.
“The two local Open Duke of Edinburgh Award groups – based in the Three Towns and Irvine - are run by volunteers on behalf of North Ayrshire Council Community Development.
“A huge amount of effort is put in by the volunteers, as well as the participants.”
Jordan Campbell, 23, started her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award in 2005 and completed all three levels, which included taking part in a ten-day expedition to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Darren Wright, 23, started his Bronze Award a year earlier and also took part in the expedition to the Atlas Mountains. Funding for both trips was raised by the whole Three Towns team.
Marc Donati started his Duke of Edinburgh programme in 2005 and won the North Ayrshire outstanding participant award in 2010.
Sarah Reid began her three-level progress to the Gold Award in 2005 and has also volunteered with Girlguiding UK and the WRVS at Crosshouse Hospital.