60 years of Gold awards

Cadet Company Sergeant Major Emmalee Wray from Carnloug receiving a certificate to mark her participation from Lieutenant Colonel Roberta Turkington MBE, Northern Ireland representative on the Army Cadet Force Association Duke of Edinburgh Advisory Panel.
Cadet Company Sergeant Major Emmalee Wray from Carnloug receiving a certificate to mark her participation from Lieutenant Colonel Roberta Turkington MBE, Northern Ireland representative on the Army Cadet Force Association Duke of Edinburgh Advisory Panel.

Young people from Ballymena and district were among 37 cadets and adult leaders from across the United Kingdom who took part in a special residential training event organised to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Representing the Ballymena Detachment Army Cadet Force at the event was Cadet Company Sergeant Major Emmalee Wray from Carnlough while the the Cullybackey Detachment ACF was represented by Cadet Corporal Alex Fleming from Portglenone.

Representing the Cullybackey Detachment ACF was Cadet Corporal Alex Fleming from Portglenone, pictured receiving his certificate from Colonel Mike Gerrish MBE, also from the Advisory Panel.

Representing the Cullybackey Detachment ACF was Cadet Corporal Alex Fleming from Portglenone, pictured receiving his certificate from Colonel Mike Gerrish MBE, also from the Advisory Panel.

The programme, which included sessions on teamwork and leadership skills as well as managing a Duke of Edinburgh Award group, enables students, not only to complete the Gold Award residential requirement, but to progress in leading Duke of Edinburgh Award groups in their local area.

Some elements of the learning can count towards a certificate in Duke of Edinburgh Award leadership and also a vocational qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management administered by CVQO, the UK-based education charity which offers a range of vocational qualifications.

The week long course combined classroom sessions with practical learning through adventurous training and a recreational visit to the nearby Game of Thrones set.

Colonel Ashley Fulford, the Army Cadet Force Association’s Duke of Edinburgh Award Panel Chair, said: “We decided to hold this event to celebrate the 60thAnniversary following on from the success of a similar event held ten years ago in Northern Ireland to mark the 50th Anniversary of the award.

“This year’s diamond anniversary event was great week with some really engaged cadets and young adults getting to grips with the Award, and having some fun at the same time. I’m grateful too for the staff who gave up their personal time to help run the course.”

The Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award residential was made possible by the support from HQ Regional Command Cadets Branch and the Northern Ireland ACF community.