A Bradley Stoke Explorer Scout has achieved the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Gold Award after completing challenges across five disciplines over a period of more than four years.
Mollie Lockett, 19, was invited to St James’s Palace, London, on 11th March, to receive her award in the presence of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.
Attending the Solar Explorer Scout Unit in Stoke Gifford, Mollie took the first steps towards her DofE Award at the age of 15, working through the Bronze and Silver levels before commencing the Gold programme when she turned 17.
Each level of the award requires the completion of activities in the five categories of volunteering, physical, skills, expedition and residential.
To make the grade, Mollie volunteered at her previous Scout group for over three years, learnt to drive and play the piano (skills), learnt ballet and trained in the gym (physical) and completed a number of expeditions with her Explorer unit.
For the Gold award, she had to organise a week’s residential with an organisation that helps the community in some way. For this, she worked with CHICKS, a national children’s charity that provides free relief breaks for children who are under-privileged, disadvantaged, living in poverty or are carers themselves.
CHICKS offers children a week long relief break at a number of locations around the UK, getting to go on what could be their only holiday that year. Mollie attended the CHICKS retreat centre in Cornwall and helped with a variety of fun activities including trampolining, horse riding, a day on the beach and face painting.
“It was an amazing experience for me and was great fun for the children too,” says Mollie.
Her Gold expeditions consisted of hiking in the Brecon Beacons and Rhayader. Each of these hikes involved walking for four days and ‘green fielding’ for at least one night.
Summing up her involvement with the DofE Award programme, Mollie said:
“I thoroughly enjoyed completing my DofE award. Although it was tough and I faced many challenges, it was worth it! Planning, mapping, orienteering, team building and organisation skills are just a few of many that I learnt and I have found the whole experience invaluable. It has helped me when applying for university and is a brilliant addition on my CV.”
“The people I have met and made friends with over the past four years will be friends for life. I couldn’t have done this without them or the support from my Explorer leaders! Not only that, I had a great laugh and lots of fun doing it!”
Since starting her university course last year, Mollie has transferred from Explorers to the Scout Network, which offers a flexible programme of Scouting activities for adults aged 18 to 25.
This article originally appeared in the May 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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