DurhamGate, the North East’s largest regeneration project, has joined forces with Durham County Council to extend its innovative Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award programme.
The extension means that more young people, aged 14-to-24, from South West Durham will be able to take advantage of the life-enhancing opportunities offered by the programme.
The DurhamGate DofE Award is managed by Bishop Auckland College, which runs two groups at its main site and one at its Spennymoor campus.
Following the new agreement, candidates working towards a DofE Award through schemes run by Spennymoor Youth and Community Association and Whitworth Park School will also be able to access opportunities created by the DurhamGate programme.
DurhamGate, a partnership between Carillion Developments, part of Carillion plc, and regional property business, Arlington Real Estate, works closely with the charity, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, in order to engage with young people in the local area, by helping them to raise their self-confidence and build on their personal development, as well as equipping them with skills that will have a positive effect on their lives and ultimately improve their employability.
Alongside the programmes founders, a group of *businesses, known as ‘Friends of DurhamGate’, support the programme through funding and by providing valuable work experience placements for DofE participants.
Neil McMillan, Director of Carillion Developments, said: “Through the auspices of Durham County Council, we now have extended the reach of DurhamGate DofE involvement to include those taking part in DofE schemes administered by Spennymoor Youth and Community Association and Whitworth Park School.
“As well as the Bishop Auckland College groups, they will be able to experience the work experience sessions and community projects that we are able to provide through our stakeholders and partners.
Neil added: “DurhamGate’s DofE programme delivers valuable life lessons for young people that will stand them in good stead for life in general and when they enter the world of work or the next stage of their education.”
Kerryann Stewart, of Success North East, which delivers the programme at Whitworth Park School, Spennymoor, said: “We are pleased to be working with DurhamGate to further widen the opportunities we are able to offer under the programme to help young people boost their confidence and self-esteem whilst they develop skills and knowledge to help them in their chosen career.”