HRH The Earl of Wessex visited Motiv8 at the Community Cycle Hub to see first-hand the difference The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) makes to young people and communities in Portsmouth.
The Charity is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary this year, having helped to transform the lives of millions of young people in the UK and across the globe since it was founded in 1956.
Undertaking a DofE Award gives 14 to 24 year olds a unique opportunity to grow as young adults, gaining valuable life experience while developing essential employability skills. Setting their own challenges and learning practical skills helps to prepare each individual for the world of work.
Motiv8 have been a key partner of the DofE since Portsmouth City Council contracted out the oversight of DofE two years ago. Since then Motiv8 have grown DofE provision through Open Centres and supported the engagement of previously hard to reach young people who may not have accessed DofE through school or similar.
A unique aspect of Motiv8’s offer is the link with Bicycle Recycling, the social enterprise that Motiv8 established following the summer of civil unrest in 2011. Bicycle Recycling exists to create jobs and training opportunities for young people through a self-sustaining community run business. It opened its first shop in Gosport in 2012, followed by the Portsmouth Community Cycle Hub in 2014 and the Naval Base Cycle Hub in 2016. Bicycle Recycling provides young people the chance to complete the skill and volunteering sections of DofE, and links with other partners to support the physical and expedition sections through cycling.
As a Trustee and a Gold Award holder, HRH The Earl of Wessex has championed the DofE for many years. As part of the Diamond Anniversary, The Earl of Wessex is travelling around the UK to help celebrate the hard work of DofE Volunteers and the successes of DofE participants.
Peter Westgarth, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award adds:
“As we celebrate 60 years of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, it’s clear that the Charity is an integral part of life at Motiv8 in Portsmouth, which has played an invaluable role in the development of hundreds of young people in the community. It’s fantastic to see Motiv8 and Bicycle Recycling being recognised for the outstanding work it does and enormous thanks must be given to the volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that every DofE participant makes the most of this wonderful opportunity.”
Although the real DofE Award is limited to 14 to 24 year olds, in its Diamond Anniversary year the DofE Charity is calling on people of all ages to set and achieve their goals through the DofE Diamond Challenge. Inspired by the essence of the DofE, this one-off initiative for 2016 aims to give everyone a flavour of the life-changing benefits of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The Charity is encouraging people to sign up at www.DofEDiamondChallenge.org and set themselves a challenge that they can be proud of – be that an adventure, a skill or something personal.
HRH The Earl of Wessex will be visiting a number of regions continuing his DofE Diamond Anniversary Tour of the UK until October.