College celebrates more than 120 students achieving Duke of Edinburgh awards

More than 120 East Coast College students have been presented with their Duke of Edinburgh Awards during two special celebrations this week.

Students from the college’s Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth campuses completed the award as part of their studies in Engineering, Welding, Uniformed Public Services, Foundation and Progression, and enrichment, taking part in volunteering, skills training, and expeditions.

Of the 122 students, 104 completed the bronze award, 15 silver and three gold, who are still completing their awards.

Their hard work was recognised by Henry Cator, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, who attended Monday’s ceremony at the Great Yarmouth campus, with Hugh Crossley, Lord Somerleyton, presenting the certificates and badges at the Lowestoft campus, joined by the college’s Chief Executive, Stuart Rimmer.

Students at the Lowestoft campus collecting their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Photo East Coast College

Commending their efforts, Mr Rimmer, said: “Students showed a real depth of courage and determination to complete these achievements alongside their studies. They adopted new skills, developed a team ethos, and completed community contribution through volunteering. They are all destined for great things in the future and this award gives them a good foundation. It was fantastic to celebrate their achievements.”

The Duke of Edinburgh programme is led by East Coast’s engineering lecturer, Peter Read, who explained how the students had completed first aid training as part of the award as well as a fire safety inspector certificate. They also completed two and three-day expeditions, carrying a backpack full of supplies to set up camp and cook a hot meal. Many of the students who took part in the programme have now gained apprenticeships or gone straight into full-time employment.

Mr Read said: “This year has seen unprecedented numbers of learners taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award at East Coast College. It fills me with great pride when I look back to the start of the academic year and reflect on the progress that all the learners have made on their journey. They have learnt new skills and gained qualifications which will enhanced their opportunities to gain employment and give them greater confidence for their future careers.”