Youngsters’ joy at award success

DEDICATED young people were honoured in front of hundreds when a ceremony was held for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award winners at Cutlers Hall.

Civic dignitaries plus Sheffield United club captain Chris Morgan were guests at the event, where awards were handed to gold, silver and bronze winners.

Youngsters had to undertake a range of challenges, from volunteering to a tough outdoors expedition, to take part.

Almost 500 young people in Sheffield won awards - 339 bronze, 86 silver and 49 bronze - and around 175 of them were able to attend the presentation.

Five of the gold award winners were boys from Seven Hills School and have learning difficulties. Award organisers said they displayed ‘enormous commitment and endeavour’.

The boys did a short presentation to the large audience about how they had enjoyed doing their DofE and how it had helped them.

One of the boys explained how doing his gold award had contributed to him securing a job with the National Grid. Another told the audience he has gained a place helping at the Paralympics next year.

Other gold winners included Stephanie Damms, from Westfield Sports College, a member of Eckington Swimming Club. For the volunteering section of her award, she helped to coach young swimmers.

There was also a speech by Katie Summerhayes, who received her silver award. She showed photos of herself skiing, a pursuit she is doing for her physical section of the award.

Katie has been selected for the youth Olympics and is a member of the Great British freestyle skiing squad.

Norman Gill, Sheffield Duke of Edinburgh manager, said the evening was “a huge success and an opportunity for all young people in Sheffield to celebrate achieving their awards together”.

Those being honoured included groups from special schools, secondary schools, academies, Sheffield College and Sheffield University, plus individual young people participating through Sheffield Duke of Edinburgh Centre.