MORE than 40 youngsters aged 14 – 17 recently received Duke of Edinburgh Awards (DofE) at bronze and silver level from the Mayor of Trafford, Cllr Dylan Butt.

Bowdon Church set up the DofE scheme in August 2012 in response to requests from parents for a scheme to be established in the Altrincham area.

The DofE scheme includes expeditions together with a requirement for learning a new skill, a physical activity, and volunteering in the local community.

Training sessions have been held at the Bowdon Parish Centre and expedition weekends have taken place in the West Pennines and Derbyshire.

More than £8,000 has been raised to date to ensure that the expeditions are properly equipped with group kit such as tents and stoves, together with a pool of personal kit for those who do not have access to items such as the rucksacks and boots for expeditions.

Commenting on the DofE project, Will Sudworth from Bowdon Church said: “Our aim is to create an accessible and sustainable DofE capability and the next stage is for our leaders to be trained so we can deliver more of the training and assessment 'in house' rather than having to pay external providers.

“We are seeking funding to invest in our volunteers who all give their time free of charge. The great news is that we have now expanded to include the Gold Award. Due to the success of the scheme our numbers have more than doubled in twelve months and this year we have over 90 young people taking part.”

Jessica Allan, a 6th former at Wellington School who received a silver award, said “I’ve had a great time on the DofE - meeting new people outside of school and learning new skills along the way.

“A number of us are now planning to progress to the gold award which involves longer expeditions and a residential.” For more information on the Bowdon Church DofE Awards scheme visit