Pupils gain DofE Bronze

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Growing a variety of potatoes, creating a pond for wildlife and an overnight expedition were among the activities completed by five students from Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.

The students, who all have disabilities and special educational needs, had to complete a range of tasks to gain the award.

Jonnade Ahmed, George Crouch, Amy Dearlove, Ashley Devine and Joe Wright took on the physical section in the College’s own sports centre, working hard to improve their health and stamina in preparation for their eventual expedition.

They demonstrated their skills by taking part in a competition with the British Potato Council to grow a variety of potatoes and then compare them for size, weight, yield and flavour.

The volunteering category prompted getting involved in a conservation project to improve something for the good of others and the environment. They worked on creating a pond for wildlife and making a quiet area for students to have the opportunity to observe that wildlife.

Their biggest challenge came with the expedition. They practiced with a walk at Brimham Rocks and an overnight camp on the grass at the College before heading off to Pateley Bridge where they walked 20km over two days.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards Operations Officer Dave Skinner, who presented the Awards to the students at the College’s Graduation Day, said: “The expedition really allows them to work as a team.

“They move up a gear when they set off.”

“And all the staff involved with the groups are always in awe of what they can achieve. They all take turns to lead the group and make sure they keep together.

“They help each other over the tricky areas and support each other in so many ways. They talk to people they pass on route, appreciate the scenery they are in and take photographs of the journey.”

Instructor and Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator Jill Green of Henshaws Specialist College said: “Gaining a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award is a great achievement for any student but even more so for our fantastic five who all had to overcome a number of personal challenges to succeed.”