Shropshire students undertake voluntary Duke of Edinburgh ambassador training

Four Shropshire students have been undertaking voluntary Duke of Edinburgh ambassador training to support and mentor fellow students.

Shropshire students have been undertaking voluntary Duke of Edinburgh ambassador training to support and mentor fellow students
Shropshire students have been undertaking voluntary Duke of Edinburgh ambassador training to support and mentor fellow students

The four, who are studying in forms five and six at Acton Burnell-based Concord College, have been undergoing external training as well as receiving additional support from staff to each manage a group of bronze award students.

The mentors have each been assigned groups of up to 10 students and have to schedule group and individual meetings to support and monitor progress in line with the college’s Covid-19 guidelines.

Speaking of the ambassador training which took place online, form five student Megan Lee, 16, said: “In the course we learnt more about how to support those in our school with their Duke of Edinburgh.

“We shared ideas on how to encourage people to continue and finish their Duke of Edinburgh even with the challenges of Covid-19.

“We discussed how to adapt and meet Covid-19 guidelines and how some parts of the programme might have to significantly change.

“The training was online so it has been harder to express ideas than in previous years when there were physical training sessions.

“But it’s important for ambassadors to discuss ideas together so that everyone’s ideas are heard and more students are encouraged to join the award.”

Expeditions

Anders Wong, 16, who is also in form five, said he hoped to assist Concord’s students with the expedition side of the award.

He said: “I hope to help Concord’s participants by answering their queries and assisting with the expedition section.

"This could include training on how to pitch up a tent, cook food using a Trangia – a special stove for the outdoors – and what to do in the event of an emergency.

“The majority of Concord’s Duke of Edinburgh participants enrol in form three and start their bronze level. This year we have 39 form three’s who enrolled.”

Mentor Anna Garziera, 16, a 6.1 student who hopes to receive her gold award this June, said: “We have experienced Duke of Edinburgh training first hand so it is up to us to promote the benefits of the award and help enrol more students to achieve their awards.

“Online working creates a disconnect between the students and myself so this is something we have to overcome.

“I have found that by using the chat function on Microsoft Teams students are more comfortable chatting online, messaging rather than full meetings.”

Accolades

She added: “It feels very rewarding knowing I can give back the help that I received, skills I learned and experiences throughout the completion of the other two awards.”

The fourth student who has been undertaking the voluntary training is Ryan Boey, 17, also 6.1.

Concord has had hundreds of students past and present who have taken part in the award, achieving bronze, silver and gold accolades.

The Duke of Edinburgh award is recognised as being highly sought after by higher education establishments and employers.

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