Young people at HMYOI Wetherby have received their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award after completing a landmark expedition at the young people’s institute. This was the first time the expedition had been fully completed within HMYOI Wetherby’s grounds.
The ten young people were presented with their certificates and badges from Jez Allsup, Duke of Edinburgh Operations Officer, and John Thornhill, Chief Executive, LTE Group, at a celebration ceremony at HMYOI Wetherby. Guests at the event included the Mayor of Wetherby Councillor Galan Moss and the Lady Mayoress, and members of the Duke of Edinburgh Award team.
The young people worked incredibly hard to complete the four sections of the award. They took part in volunteering, physical and skills-based activities, and expedition training to ensure they met the 20 core conditions of the award. Following this, they completed a two-day expedition that included camping out and cooking their own food.
To fulfil the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award criteria, the required two-day expedition is usually completed by young people on release on temporary license (ROTL). For the first time, five of the young people receiving their Bronze Award had completed the expedition within the grounds of HMYOI Wetherby. The success of the expedition within the YOI grounds means that more young people now have the opportunity to take part. This could also be used as a blueprint that could be rolled out to other young people institutes.
Louise Higginbotham, Head of Resettlement, Partnerships and Employment at Novus, said: “Our learners gain valuable skills through participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award that support them when integrating back into society on their release. The award can be instrumental in supporting the young people on their path to a crime free life, helping to reduce reoffending rates.
The success of the expedition at HMYOI Wetherby can only help us to build on the Awards in all our YOIs and STC, widening opportunities for all our young people.
The Duke of Edinburgh team from Novus and HMYOI Wetherby worked closely to make the project a success. The experience was a resoundingly positive one for the young people involved, with one learner saying he had “learned skills that will help me on the out”.
Jez Allsup, Duke of Edinburgh Operations Officer, said: “This is a massive achievement both for the participants and Novus staff, so they should all be proud. Programme delivery within YOIs comes with added hurdles all of which have been achieved by everyone concerned. The Duke of Edinburgh transforms lives and we are delighted to have the support of Novus to give more young people a better chance to lead a more productive and fulfilled adult life.”
Craig Lowe, Deputy Governor at HMYOI Wetherby said: “I am really proud of both the young people and staff who made this project a success.
“The young people have demonstrated self-discipline, team work and leadership – all of which are vital skills that can help them build a brighter future away from crime.”
Novus worked with the Duke of Edinburgh Award team to introduce the scheme to three young people institutes (YOIs) and a secure training centre (STC) around two years ago, to give young people within secure establishments the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.