STUDENTS from St Edmund’s School have been presented with their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award in a celebratory ceremony.
Students received their certificates in the event which took place at the Square Tower.
The D of E programme is run by the charitable organisation Motiv8 who specialise in developing skills and providing opportunities for young people.
Joint Chief Executive Clare Ansell said: ‘Tonight is about recognising and rewarding the students. We want to make a big deal out of what the students have done and highlight their amazing achievements.’
To achieve their Bronze Award students are required to complete tasks covering personal skills, physical challenge, volunteering and a two day expedition.
Students worked on skills such as cooking and photography as well as voluntary community work including supporting a local church, coaching after-school clubs and working in charity shops.
Supporting the event was motivational speaker Chris Lubbe who worked alongside Nelson Mandela to eradicate apartheid.
Chris spoke to the students about his struggles growing up in South Africa during apartheid and the adversity he overcame.
‘My personal experience lends itself to motivating young people like the ones here tonight to overcome challenges and achieve their potential,’ explained Mr Lubbe.
‘I am here to share my personal journey and encourage students to make a difference in their communities through the work of programmes like the D of E,’ added Mr Lubbe.
There are currently over 800 young people in Portsmouth involved in the D of E programme.
The 11 students involved in last night’s ceremony have collectively contributed over 400 hours to local community work.
Year 11 student, Nicole Makuzva, 16, found the physical component the greatest challenge.
Nicole said: ‘For me I didn’t really think I could cover the distances on the expedition carrying all my kit. I am very proud of myself as I have proven I can.’
As well as practical skills the programme also looks to develop young people’s personal skills.
Catherine Obla, also 16, said: ‘I have certainly had to develop my cooperation and teamwork skills of communication as well as developing friendships with my team members.’
Presenting the awards was the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason.
Mr Mason said: ‘Motiva8 do a lot of good work in the city. The D of E project has long been shown to make a difference to the young people in Portsmouth. We are very proud of what the young people here tonight have done to achieve their Bronze Award.’
A number of the students plan to continue their D of E progress in the future.
Harriet Hudson, 16, said: ‘I hope to continue D of E and do my silver award when I start college. I am really happy to receive my award tonight as it took a lot of hard work to get it done.