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2012-13 was a bumper year for the completion of D of E awards by Trent students and with a total of 88 waiting to receive their certificates and badges, it was decided to hold the awards evening on Tuesday in the Obolensky at Trent rather than as usual at County Hall, Matlock. Despite the short notice of the event, a large number of parents were able to attend and support the students as they received their awards. It is quite an achievement to fully complete an award, requiring the commitment of time actually to do the various sections and then to follow this up with the administrative task of getting appropriate signatures into the record books. These then need uploading into the online system called eDofE, the details have to be approved by a Trent teacher and forwarded to Derbyshire Licensed Operator for final approval. Even in this bumper year, there have been quite a few students who have not fulfilled all the requirements and so may not actually get an award, making these successes even more impressive.
The evening started off with a welcome from Mr Shuttleworth and some information about where Trent’s D of E scheme fits into the bigger Derbyshire picture. Welcomes were extended to Councillor Damien Greenhalgh (County Councillor for Glossop and Charlesworth, DCC Deputy Cabinet Member, Children and Young People), Susan Popham (DCC D of E Manager), Rod Webster (DCC D of E Development Officer). Thanks were given to the Trent staff who come out in their holidays to assist with the supervision of the many expedition groups and to the team at DCC D of E who give excellent support to the Trent D of E organisation. The Bronze Awards were then presented to the students by Cllr Greenhalgh, to the accompaniment of well-deserved applause.
Next, the audience was treated to a short but inspirational talk by Bryony Balen a local girl from Melbourne who at the age of 21 became the youngest Briton to ski to the South Pole, reaching her target in January 2012. Bryony described how her first serious experiences of the outdoors came when she enrolled for the Silver Award with the Scouts. This developed into a burning ambition to do much more, including her Gold Award, climbing Mont Blanc and then her Antarctic venture. She left the audience with the clear message that the D of E has real value in helping to develop young people and that remarkable things are possible with determination and resilience.
After Bryony had finished, the Silver awards were presented. Thanks were also given to the parents present who are so supportive of their children and Trent’s D of E. To conclude the formal proceedings, a short picture show of last season’s expeditions was shown. Photos of the successful students with their certificates were taken and everyone could then enjoy some refreshments and a chat. Overall, this proved to be a successful evening and a fitting way to mark the achievement of the students who had recently completed their Bronze or Silver Awards.