AWARD SUCCESS AS PAUL STRIKES GOLD

Duke's of Edinburgh Awards'Awardee Paul Butler 20Yrs. '29th February 2012'Pic: Roberto Cavieres

Duke's of Edinburgh Awards'Awardee Paul Butler 20Yrs. '29th February 2012'Pic: Roberto Cavieres

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ADVENTURER Paul Butler was among a handful of successful youngsters from Bearsden who were honoured with badges after successfully completing their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Paul, along with Susan McGarvie (19) and Mhairi Mactier (18), took part in the prestigious programme run by the Allander Open Award Centre at Milngavie Community Education Centre. The centre is for those unable to access the project through school.

The Strathclyde University chemical engineering student was the only one from this side of the district to attend the badge presentation ceremony at Bishopbriggs Academy, which attracted over 160 young people.

Paul (18) said: “The Duke of Edinburgh Gold is split into four sections. I had to do a four day expedition starting near Fort William with two groups of four. Then I did a sport, and because I play golf I chose to do that. For the skills section I improved my playing of the tenor horn.

“The final section was a service and I volunteered at the Oxfam charity shop in Milngavie.”

The former Douglas Academy pupil said it took him 18 months to complete all the sections and it has helped him to make new friends and improve his communication and team working skills. The programme is open to anyone aged between 14 and 24, and requires persistence, commitment and personal development.

Mhairi’s older sister and brother, Eilidh and Iain, completed their gold DofEs last year and Mhairi will be following in her sibling’s footsteps when she and the other awardees travel to Edinburgh to receive their certificates from the Duke of Edinburgh in person at Holyrood - pencilled in for early July.

Councillor Una Walker, Convener of education, said: “Within East Dunbartonshire we are very fortunate to have so many active Duke of Edinburgh’s Award units offering this great adventure and challenge to our young people. It really embeds skills and qualities that will be both beneficial to young people and of interest to potential employers or university placement officers. We would like to congratulate everyone who took up the challenge and achieved so much, for both themselves and the wider community.”

Councillor Walker also wished to thank the many volunteers who make the scheme possible and said that due to increased demand for places, more volunteers were desperately needed to reduce the waiting list.

To find out more about the awards visit www.DofE.org or contact Helen Moore, youth awards development officer at East Dunbartonshire Council on 0141 777 3029 or e-mail helen.moore@eastdunbarton.gov.uk