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Radcliffe Methodist Youth Group Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Centre

On Monday, 3rd January 2022 some 30 Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants plus parents and families came together (by invitation only to accord with relevant Covid restrictions) in the Radcliffe-on-Trent Methodist Church to receive either Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards. The Presentation was organised by Mark Greenhalgh with his team of Helpers and the planning catered for a possible 60 recipients but restrictions prevented some from attending.

Christopher Farmer introduced each young person giving a very brief insight into some of the vast subjects undertaken (there are four parts to each level and five at Gold) including football, keep fit, cricket, expedition by canoe and canoe repair and maintenance, helping younger school children, charity shop assistants, foot expeditions, property cleaning, sports leadership, computer coaching, interior design, languages, drumming, swimming coaching, sales and automotive skills, cooking, musical theatre, photography, ballet, etc.

The Awards were presented by County Councillor Roger Upton who himself had achieved Silver and expressed regret at not continuing to Gold. The Group operates through Nottinghamshire County Council. The upper age limit for these Awards is 25 but also included was one delayed presentation of a Bronze Discovery Award certificate – this is based on The D. of E. Award but is for those over 50 years of age, many of whom missed the opportunity in their youth. This was presented by the Minister of the Church, Rev. N Jones. 

Keith Vinerd

Awards

There were 9 girls and 15 boys presented with their hard won awards and two young people spoke passionately about what they had done. Harriet did her gold five years ago and is now nursing on a Covid ward and ITU. One key thing that stood out for her was her placement for Gold in a tough school in Moseley with mainly refugee children which taught her not to be afraid and have confidence in herself and even when language was a problem. Just to hold their hand and smile meant a lot. Something she practised on the Covid wards where she is now in training.

And Elliot had been to Buckingham Palace and spoke there to a professional adventurer who so inspired him that he ended up in Guatemala! Doing the gold D of E showed him what professionalism looked like and how much the leaders of his training and especially Mark are a credit to the scheme. It was a super evening and some splendid young people took part in it all. May many more find inspiration and challenge in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards!

A remarkable evening at Radcliffe Methodist church when the hours and hours of hard work by Mark Greenhalgh inspired numbers of young people who had stuck at getting their bronze, silver and gold awards and done some exceptional things but more significantly had grown in stature and confidence, willing to assume leadership and to work as a team.

A most impressive group of young people and huge thanks due to Mark and his team including Chris Farmer who gave an excellent synopsis of what each person had done to gain the award (and it was clearly hard work and often outside their comfort zone!) with thanks to Richard and David and others who helped Mark especially on expeditions tramping through woods and across moorlands and learning to camp on their own, make fires and map read.

That this is done through Radcliffe Methodist Church makes it very special indeed and it was thrilling to see the youngsters so proud of their achievements and their parents who looked as if they also had worked hard! Keith Vinerd kept us all together on the night and looked after the VIPs and we were glad Councillor Roger Upton could be there to present the awards and encourage the young people to go for the gold! Mark presented him with a black and white D of E umbrella and asked to use it in all his official photos – rain or shine!

Thanks to Rick for the IT support on Monday night and for delicious refreshments and cakes and real coffee from Hilary G and Gwyn Farmer (herself a recipient of the Discovery Award – ask Keith about that!) A great evening to be thankful to God for committed leaders and bright, hard-working and outward looking young people (and if you want to know more ask Helen and Bob Weir whose grandson received two awards!).

Revd. N Jones

Discovery Awards

Gwyneth and Christopher Farmer have both undertaken The Discovery Award through Radcliffe Methodist Community Group. This is based on The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award but is tailored for the more mature participant, those over 50 years of age to be exact. Christopher completed the four sections at Bronze level in 2014 taking subjects such as assisting with The D of E Award Youth Group at The Methodist Church, the construction of a carrying box and learning to play the ukulele, Tai Chi and Chi Kung. For his journey of discovery which takes the place of expedition he toured in a camper van to include Portsmouth, Pembrokeshire and the Black Mountains.

Gwyneth spread her achievements over a much longer period completing in 2021 with subjects such as volunteering in Oxfam Books & Music Shop in Nottingham, study and volunteering with Workers’ Educational Organisation and walking at various locations e.g. Staffordshire, Hampshire and Pembrokeshire. For her journey Gwyneth explored the east coast of Scotland in a camper van.

Both were involved in the recent Bronze, Silver and Gold D of E Presentations to members of The Church Youth Group at which Gwyn received her own certificate. 

Anyone who would like to know more about the Discovery Award please have a word with Keith Vinerd.