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Duke of Edinburgh's Award

We've had confirmation that Zak Silver has gained his (eponymous!) Silver Award. He chose Karate for his physical activity, gaining a Brown Belt, and volunteered in his spare time to improve the environment in the area around his school. He completed his expedition in Shropshire last September, and for a year he played trumpet in an ensemble for his skill. Well done, Zak.

It's always nice when someone from whom you haven't heard for quite some time suddenly e-mails out-of-the-blue to say that they have finished their Gold Award. So I was delighted to hear from Richard Owen that his work for the Gold was complete! He had undertaken his challenging expedition in Scotland way back in 2012, with Will Fitch, Jess Holland and three other friends. Shortly after that he spent two weeks in Peru, visiting Inca sites including Machu Picchu and working alongside Peruvian archaeologists, to qualify for his Residential section. His skill was learning to drive, and he successfully passed his test — after considerable effort! Having moved to study at Exeter, he worked out in the gym to improve his fitness over a period of a year, and finally, for a period of a year and a half he worked as a volunteer in a Soup Kitchen in the city, helping homeless people. A Gold Award well deserved, Richard!

Photo: Richard (2nd from left) with his Gold group in 2012 at the summit of Kirriereoch Hill, 786m above sea level.

This year's Golds will be off to Scotland at the beginning of July, and already their plans are nearly complete — including placing an order with Tesco to deliver food to them when they arrive, to save them carrying everything with them! But there won't be any chance of a Tesco drop-off at any of their wild campsites high in the hills!

David Allan (84739).

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