A woman from Haywards Heath was among 100 young people from across West Sussex celebrated achieving Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards at a special ceremony at the weekend.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which is run in West Sussex by the County Council’s Youth Support and Development Service, is aimed at young people aged between 14 and 24 years.
The Gold Award Presentation was held at Worth Abbey on Sunday (13 July), with a ceremony hosted by Amanda Jupp, Chairman of West Sussex County Council, and Liz Bennett, Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex.
More than 200 people, including the young people who achieved the gold award and their families, came together to celebrate their outstanding accomplishments.
Young people receiving awards recalled some of the life changing experiences they enjoyed.
Emily Pippard, 21, from Haywards Heath, spent time in Thailand for her award and explained how it helped her.
She said: “I did volunteering at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.
“I’d never been so close to elephants before, so it was amazing to work with them.
“This was with volunteers from all over the world, so I built confidence through learning to communicate with them. I went on my own, so I had to be brave!”
Also present at the award ceremony were Johnathan Lucas, High Sheriff of West Sussex, Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, and County Councillors Debbie Kennard, Margaret Evans, Sue Mullins and Pat Arculus.
Peter Evans said: “Once again, the young people of West Sussex have proved themselves to be the leaders of the future.
“Attaining Gold in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme is not an easy achievement.
“It requires determination, tenacity and the ability to support others – a model for all young people to follow.
“They should be extremely proud of their success. Well done to all!”
For more information on how to get involved in Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in West Sussex, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award website at www.dofe.org