29th March 2018

South Devon College is delighted to announce that it has received a grant from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’s (DofE) Diamond fund to enable the College to reach and support more disadvantaged young people who want to do their DofE in Torbay and the surrounding areas.

Through its Diamond fund, the DofE will be investing a total of £3 million over the next four years to increase the number of disadvantaged young people starting their DofE from 50,000 per year to 70,000 by 2021. The £3 million is made up of £1.5 million raised by over 15,000 supporters in the DofE’s Diamond Anniversary year (2016), £1 million from the #iwill fund for England, a joint initiative from The National Lottery and Department of Culture, Media & Sport, and additional DofE donations to double Diamond Anniversary fundraising in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. #iwill is a UK-wide campaign, which aims to get 6 out of 10 young people involved in social action by 2020.

Through South Devon College’s project, more disadvantaged young people in South Devon will develop life-changing skills such as communication, resilience and teamwork; create new friendships, and gain the confidence to reach their potential.

L-R Rich Blagden – DofE Coordinator, Carly Drew – Administrator Hi-Tech and Digital, Steve Caunter – Assistant Principal and Adrian Bevin – Section Head

Rich Blagden, DofE Coordinator at South Devon College said, “South Devon College is incredibly excited and grateful to have received a grant from the DofE’s Diamond fund. It will enable us to reach and support more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, students who we know from previous experience can find huge benefits in the DofE programme. The opportunity for these students to develop soft skills such as leadership, motivation, self-esteem and a sense of community spirit is enormous. The DofE is an integral part of College life and we will be using this money to provide an expedition kit store for our students and to train DofE Leaders across the College. This will give more of our young people the opportunity to develop communication and confidence skills that are transferable to life and work, by helping out in their local community, learning a new skill, keeping fit and experiencing the great outdoors.”

 Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award says, “We are delighted to grant South Devon College money from the #iwill DofE Diamond fund to enable even more disadvantaged young people in South Devon the opportunity to do their DofE. The life changing benefits of a DofE programme should be readily available to any young person who wants to help themselves to go further in life.”

The DofE is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people. DofE programmes enable any young person, age 14-24, to develop key skills for life and work such as confidence, commitment and team working. Those who achieve a Bronze and Silver DofE Award will volunteer, learn a skill, get fit and undertake an expedition in wild country. Those who achieve a Gold Award also take part in a week long residential.

There are currently around 420,000 young people doing a DofE programme across the UK through a variety of centres including both state and independent schools, special schools, businesses, prisons, young offender institutions and youth groups.

To find out more about the DofE and how it enables young people to succeed, please visit DofE.org or contact Rich Blagden, DofE Coordintaor at [email protected]

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