Senior leaders from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the UK and Wales visited Deeside Leisure Centre on Thursday, 19 October to hear from the Aura Wales team about how the programme is being implemented in Flintshire and the impact it is making on young people’s lives.
Aura Wales delivers Alternative Education Provision for young people across Flintshire, and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is one means by which young people are provided with the opportunity to learn new skills, to flourish, and to be set on the path to ensure they achieve their full potential in life.
Since 2021, Aura Wales has enrolled over 100 young people onto the DofE, and the programme continues to develop and grow. Grant funding has supported placements onto the scheme for disadvantaged young people and, importantly, has provided expedition kit to enable them to continue using their new skills.
The visit on 19 October enabled The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award senior leaders to meet DofE participants and to witness first-hand the benefits and impact both the funding and the Award has had on the young people.
Rebecca Kennelly MBE, Executive Director of UK Operations at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said: “It was fantastic to meet the dedicated team at Aura Wales. Their inclusive approach to the delivery of the DofE ensures that young people who have been experiencing challenges get the chance to take part and achieve. The team are skilled at building trust, and confidence which, when combined with doing the DofE, leads to positive outcomes for the young people involved. It was uplifting to hear how taking part has opened doors for these previously marginalised young people, helping them to regain a positive place in their communities and to look forward confidently to their futures.’’
Sara Mogel OBE, Chair of Aura Wales, commented: “It was a great pleasure to welcome visitors from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and to discuss Aura’s innovative use of it in relation to young people engaged with alternative curriculum provision. The Award supports us in giving these young people the skills they need to succeed and helps build up self-confidence in their own abilities. Over the past three years of Aura running alternative curriculum provision, there has been a high rate of participants entering employment or continuing their education and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards have had a major part to play in this success.”
Sian Williams, Leisure Development Manager at Aura Wales, said: “We are incredibly proud of this service within Aura. The work that the Active Communities and Alternative Provision teams do is amazing, providing local opportunities and meaningful qualifications to young people so that they are equipped to succeed in their future endeavours. Aura itself has even employed some of the earlier graduates of the programme! We very much look forward to working more with local Flintshire schools, young people, and qualification providers like The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the future, thereby helping Aura to deliver its vision of improving lives through health and well-being.”
For further information regarding Aura’s DofE programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo (left to right):
Rebecca Kennelly MBE, Executive Director of UK Operations at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Sian Williams, Aura’s Leisure Development Manager, Chris Moss, Aura’s Alternative Education Provision Officer, Mike Welch, Aura’s CEO, Katrina Long, Operations Officer for the Wales Duke of Edinburgh’s team, Stephanie Price, Director for the Wales Duke of Edinburgh’s team, and Sara Mogel OBE, Aura’s Chair.