Mearns group needs you

Gold Presentation at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, July 3, 2015 with (from left) Ian Mulcahy, Judy Middleton, Emily Smith and Connor Mulcahy.
Gold Presentation at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, July 3, 2015 with (from left) Ian Mulcahy, Judy Middleton, Emily Smith and Connor Mulcahy.

Mearns Duke of Edinburgh’s Open Award Group is calling on more volunteers and the community to support the group that helps youngsters in the area.

Three pupils from Mearns Academy were presented with a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award alongside over 1,200 young achievers from across the UK recently and more volunteers are required to support the scheme locally and build on its success.

Emily Smith from Edzell and brothers Ian and Connor Mulcahy from Laurencekirk were part of the Mearns Duke of Edinburgh’s Open Award Group (OAG) based at Mearns Academy and collected their gold award last month (July 3).

The Gold Award Presentation (GAP) is a celebration and recognition of young peoples’ achievements and the group from the Mearns OAG undertook many activities from voluntary work, to sport as well as developing new skills, training and completing an adventurous journey.

Judy Middleton has supported the Mearns Duke of Edinburgh’s Open Award Group for over 20 years as a mountain leader, expedition supervisor and an assessor and accompanied Emily, Ian and Connor to the GAP ceremony in Edinburgh and said: “A beautiful day at Holyrood and Prince Edward spent a while talking to each group, ours was Aberdeenshire.

“He had a good rapport with the young people, then he asked which of the parents had done the Award. All in all a lovely day and a joy to see our Golds receive their Awards. They went home determined to get more of their groups to complete Gold.”

Duke of Edinburgh’s Mearns Open Award Group is based at Mearns Academy Community Campus and every year supports dozens of young people between the ages of 14 and 24 with various activities.

The group is now calling for more volunteers to help provide young people with training as well as any community groups or organisations that can support volunteer placements for the DofE participants.

The scheme is open to all young people and for more information email dorota.kiedrowska@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or call Mearns Academy Community Campus on 01561 378298.