Robbie Heriot, Jo Shepton and Calum Maclean, who completed their awards whilst still at the school, were presented with their certificates at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh by comedian Mary Louise Stone – better known as Maggie le Beau from the BBC’s ‘Scot Squad’ as well as being spoken to by Prince Edward, Earl of Forfar.
For the last four years, Kinlochleven High School has run Duke of Edinburgh at Bronze, Silver and Gold free at the point of delivery for all pupils.
The money is sourced from a combined fundraising effort between the high school, social enterprise Kinlochlovin’ and the high school’s Parents’ Council. These fundraising activities subsidise registration, training and expeditions at around £100 for a Bronze, £150 for Silver and £250 for Gold and is open to every child, at every level.
Robbie Heriot from Kinlochleven said,"After completing bronze and silver DofE I knew I wanted to aim higher. The Gold Duke of Edinburgh award was the perfect balance of being adventurous and pushing me out my comfort zone.
The time I spent volunteering and learning new skills also really helped set me up for the real world. It’s an opportunity I continue to look back on and wish I could experience again even to this day. The people I met and things I saw are encounters I will never forget."
Calum Maclean, from Bunree, concurred saying, “Having completed all three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh I have taken many benefits from learning new skills with teamworking, leading groups and working with kids being the main skills.
Not only has the DofE award given me countless great memories with my year but has kick started my passion for being outside such as hillwalking and encouraging me to pursue a career in forestry.
Even if you aren’t outdoor orientated the DofE award works wonders in interviews as it has been my go-to answer due to the award giving me a wide range of skills that employers crave for.
A big feature of the award is that it makes you go out there and experience new things and more importantly meet lots of new people. Which, in itself, is a great skill to be better at especially in interview scenarios where it could be the difference between you and another person.”
Head teacher Rebecca Machin said “This is an absolutely fabulous achievement showing long term determination, commitment and true grit. This is why this award is so well valued and understood by employers. It shows a young person’s tenacity and flexibility. This is not just about going for a hike – this is about long periods of volunteering, skills development, becoming au fait with the outdoors and learning to met and get along with new people via the residential element. This all has to be organised by the young person themselves – all we do is ensure that they have the financial support they need to be able to achieve this.
To show what an exceptional body of work this represents, our three youngsters are among only 4% of those young people who sign up for Duke of Edinburgh who make it to the end of Gold.
As a school we are very proud of these three young adults and their achievements and we continue to wish them our very best and will continue to enjoy hearing about their successes as members of our alumni community.