Pauline honoured for dedication to DofE Award

Pauline Petch

Pauline Petch, who has been honoured for her dedication to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme - Credit: Ian Burt

A Norfolk Duke of Edinburgh award organiser has become one of a small group of people to receive Royal recognition for their dedication to the role.

Pauline Petch has been involved with the scheme for nearly 10 years, running it to begin with at Springwood High School in King's Lynn, before going on to manage it across the four high schools of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

She is one of just a small number of volunteers to receive a personal letter of commendation from the Earl of Wessex, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) trustee.

Her contribution has also been recognised with a special commemorative coin marking the life and legacy of the late Duke of Edinburgh, the DofE’s patron, which has been donated by the Royal Mint.

Just 50 people were selected to be the recipients of the special coins, reflecting different roles, successes and activities on behalf of more than 45,000 people who deliver DofE across the UK.

Their efforts in ensuring young people can continue to take part in the DofE despite the challenges of the pandemic were particularly praised.

Mrs Petch said: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award continues to grow across all four high schools and this is only possible with the dedication of all volunteers, and the support of each school.

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“The trust has a small band of dedicated coordinators that ensure all our young people are offered every opportunity possible - and between us - even though most of the activities had to be changed, postponed and altered – each school still had a fantastic number of achievement certificates and full awards.”

The DofE allows anyone aged 14-25 years old to complete a series of activities which can lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold award.

Since being launched in 1956, 6.7 million young people have taken part in the scheme, which gives the opportunity to take on challenges, discover new skills and passions and develop their confidence, resilience and self-belief.

Ruth Marvel, chief executive of the DofE Award, said: “At a time when so many young people are facing unprecedented challenges, DofE volunteers are instrumental in helping them to regain a sense of purpose, possibility and control over their futures."

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