Six members of the Haywards Heath U3A Discovery Award Group have recently gained their certificates at the Bronze Level of the Discovery Award.
The Discovery Award is a national achievement award offering challenges to anyone in the 50+ age range. In concept it is very similar to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Its aims are also similar.
The scheme may not be a household name like the D of E award, but our group has found it an inspirational project and it has led a number of people to challenge themselves - and succeed - in ways that they might not have done without the structure of the scheme and support of the group.
To complete The Discovery Award an activity in each of four sections must be completed. The sections are: Service in the Community, Hobby or Interest, Recreational Pursuit and The Journey of Discovery.
A minimum number of hours must be dedicated to each section.
As part of The Journey of Discovery one member studied the life and landscape of the ‘peasant’ poet John Clare, visiting his home and surrounding countryside. Another researched her family history, tracing the direct female line back to 1722.
Charting a personal journey from a physical, emotional and spiritual aspect was the choice of another member, whilst two chose to walk 24 miles of the South Downs Way.
The activities chosen by individual members for the remaining three sections reflect the wide variety of their interests and included: volunteering at Wakehurst Place Gardens; Secretary of Haywards Heath Trefoil Guild; Church Stewarding; Voluntary Director of Community Management Company; church maintenance; upholstery; knitting; learning the Treble recorder; learning to draw; woodwork; Tai Chi; weight loss and walking diary; swimming lessons; walking. These members are already planning what to do for their Silver level award.
The members all agree it’s a great way to meet new and interesting people. The award also offers opportunities to discover new strengths and hidden talents whilst experiencing the fun and excitement of meeting new challenges. The group was formed in February 2014 and newer members who have joined during the year are busy working towards the Bronze award.
More information about the Discovery Award can be found on the website:
www.discoveryaward.org.uk or check out the Haywards Heath U3A website: www.haywardsheathu3a.org.uk
Report and picture contributed by Hazel Lintott.