Kevin Mulligan, Community Health and Well-Being Department, reports on the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, which has been expanded across the whole Society in the last year.

“We used our in-house SHOUT magazine, emails, meeting, posters, word of mouth to spread the news and there was a lot of interest for the award from across the areas.

The Community Health and Well-Being Team had introduction sessions with individual service users and had many positive responses for the award. The ability range of the service users is massive; it’s not just the more able service users who were interested.

Each service user has started a programme which has been individualised and adapted to them. They carry an autism friendly evidence collecting leaflet to their activities. This gets signed to say they have done something towards their award. The leaflets have created a buzz and a sense of pride. Some participants have even been giving us weekly updates of their achievements.

In 2013 we had four service users officially collect their Bronze awards and four collected volunteering certificates. After expanding we currently have twenty three service users participating in the award scheme at bronze and silver levels. We also have one staff member who was pretty keen to participate and interest is still coming in.

We will soon be starting the expedition training and assessments.

In some cases three quarters of their awards have already been completed and in June service user: Stephen Harrison was the first Silver award achieved by the society.