We are incredibly proud to be able to share the news that Tegan (one of our Year 13 pupils at MACS) has achieved a prestigious Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award. It is the highest level of the award programme and typically requires a commitment of 12 to 18 months of consistent volunteering work, physical activity, skills development, and a significant expedition. At Gold level there is also a residential activity that has to be completed, where you must stay and work away from home for 5 days.

We are hugely proud of what she has achieved and as a whole school would like to extend our ‘congratulations’ for all her efforts and hard work. Tegan has kindly provided a write-up of her experiences so that others can read about what she had to do in order to achieve the award. We hope that it inspires other pupils to get involved with positive activities like this in the future!

My Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award Journey 

I completed the Gold Award through GirlGuiding Cymru and started it in January 2019. To gain this award, I had to complete 5 different sections: Skills, Volunteering, Physical, Residential and Expedition. I chose to do the skills and volunteering for 12 months and the physical for 6 months. I had to do an hour a week of these activities.

For the volunteering section, I decided to complete my Adult Leader Qualification with GirlGuiding. This involved me going to unit meetings every week and leading the girls in many different activities.

Alongside these sections, I had to go on a Residential. There are many different activities people can do to complete this section. I was lucky enough to spend 5 days on a narrowboat on the Kennet & Avon canal near Swindon. This was an amazing experience for me. I got to drive the boat, learn valuable skills and the rules to follow when on a narrowboat, such as you MUST feed the ducks. It was also a chance to meet new people.

Finally, I had to complete the expedition section, which had been postponed 3 times due to Covid-19. This involved me walking and navigating for four days in the Brecon Beacons, carrying all of the kit I would need for the four days, including food and cooking equipment. We walked roughly 18km a day, carrying a 16lb rucksack, with our highest height elevation being around 560 metres. 

Overall, completing the Bronze, Silver and Gold Award has been really rewarding. They have given me a chance to learn and develop new skills, pushed past my limits and allowed me to meet new people.