Autism Together’s Community, Health and Well-being team members attended an awards ceremony, on Tuesday 20th October at the Enterprise Centre in recognition of their hard work and dedication for the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh and ASDAN qualifications.

These are the latest presentations to those who have been working on their various awards within the charity’s Community, Health and Wellbeing Department. The presentation took place in the gym of the Enterprise Centre – a familiar location for all those involved with the award winners inviting guests with many parents and staff from the Community, Health and Wellbeing department, who had supported the service users through their awards were also present. Afterwards, a buffet was provided to as a well done and thank you to all those involved.

The Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award requires individuals to participate for 3 months in a physical, volunteering and skill based activity. Some examples of the activities completed include drama productions, swimming, volunteering with the Wirral Coastal Rangers and creating different media projects. They then had to complete elements of an expedition including putting up a tent, packing a bag for staying outdoors overnight, cooking outdoors on a trangia and walking.

ASDAN are curriculum based programmes and qualifications used to develop skills for learning, life and employment. The subjects covered by these award participants have included the environment and sports and leisure. They have taken part in different sports such as boccia and using the fitness gym, learned how to be more environmental friendly and learning ways to organise activities.

Jim Strain, Director of HR at Autism Together, who presented the awards said “The Duke of Edinburgh and ASDAN award schemes are nationally recognised certificates.

They acknowledge the participation and commitment of those people we support in a variety of activities and highlights their achievements. For many it is one of the few times they have received an award accredited outside of their schools or supported adult services!

Holding an official ceremony to present these awards is also significant, giving a setting for individuals to formally celebrate their success  with their family, friends and staff.”

Marie Bower, CVS Support Worker said “The awards have proved hugely beneficial to those participating. They encourage life skills, open up new experiences and opportunities and will provide an ongoing framework for further  development with participants being able to go onto their Silver Duke of Edinburgh and completing ASDANs in other areas of interest.

The individual benefits that have been realised are the improved health and fitness of participants and engagement in new pursuits. Having a reason and an incentive to try something new has given some participants the encouragement to accept changes, and so develop the important life skill of flexibility.”

The ongoing success of these awards schemes have led to the new appointment of a dedicated Awards Coordinator, Emma Crabb. She will be developing the ASDAN’s, Duke of Edinburgh and Gateway Award programmes as well as seeking to introduce new schemes across the whole of Autism Together.