There was an air of celebration and pride around the Civic Centre recently as young people from across the borough received their Duke of Edinburgh Award [DoE] in what is the programme’s 60th year.
Hounslow boasts one of the highest completion rates for DoE achievers in London, with over 1,000 young people having started their DoE programmes in the last 12 months.
To enable all winners to personally receive their award, three ceremonies were held this week by Hounslow Council, at the Civic Centre on Lampton Road.
Over 800 guests, including young people from local schools, clubs, youth centres and organisation came together at the awards over the three days, to celebrate their success in receiving bronze, silver or gold awards, as well as mark the 60th anniversary of the programme, which was set up by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956.
A special commemorative film, showing the achievements of youngsters across Hounslow as well as telling the story behind the awards was screened to guests which included Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive for DoE, Peter Fleet, DoE director and Dot Hasler, DoE con-coordinator for Hounslow.
Awards were presented by Mary Harpley, Chief Executive of Hounslow Council, Cllr Tom Bruce, a DoE ambassador and Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, Cllr Ed Mayne, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Leisure and a DoE silver award winner, Cllr Nisar Malik, Mayor of Hounslow and Cllr Mel Collins, who were amongst the speakers and guests.
The DoE helps and supports young people and enables those who might not otherwise have the chance to gain life and educational skills and experience which they can use to get into work and share with others.
Councillor Bruce, said: “This week we celebrated the wonderful success of all our young people from across the borough who have completed their Duke of Edinburgh Award.
“We are extremely proud of everyone’s success, and I’m so impressed that here at Hounslow we have one of the highest completion rates of achieving awards and that so many are taking up the challenge of the DoE award every year.
“To be able to celebrate our achievements in the year that the DoE marks 60 years, is also another fantastic honour and it proves there is so much to be proud of when it comes to our young people in Hounslow.”