COLEG CAMBRIA is the number one FE institution in Wales for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).

The north east Wales college – based in Wrexham, Northop, Llysfasi and Deeside – has seen more than 270 learners achieve the Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE Award in the last year.

And those taking part donated a staggering 3,107 hours of their own time for volunteering and charity work.

To celebrate the achievement, a group from the charity visited Cambria’s Yale site in Wrexham, including former student and DofE UK Executive Director Rebecca Kennelly, and Director for the DofE in Wales, Stephanie Price.

Following a tour led by Gold Award participants Kitty Davies and Lowri Green, who hail from the city, there was a special presentation for Gary Abnett and Alan Lowry, Cambria’s DofE coordinators, who have given almost five decades of time and commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Wales.

Cambria’s Learner and Enterprise Manager Rona Griffiths thanked the DofE for its support of learners over the years, notably those from challenging backgrounds.

“They helped us to focus on our provision for vulnerable students or young people with additional learning needs and even offered 150 funded places so we could deliver the courses to them, providing support and teaching new skills,” she said.

“Hundreds of students have really benefited as a result, and a lot of that is down to colleagues across all sites, led by our coordinators Alan and Gary, who have worked so hard – much of it in their own time – to empower them, to teach them and build their confidence.

“We could not be prouder of what they’ve done, and the effect Cambria has had in partnership with the DofE, in making a real difference to their lives.”

Reinforcing those words, Stephanie added: “It’s great to see so many young people from Coleg Cambria achieving a DofE Award, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the learners and DofE leaders who support them.

“Last year, DofE participants at Cambria collectively volunteered 3,107 hours, a fantastic contribution to their local community and charities.

“It was fantastic to be able to thank Alan and Gary for their long service to recognise the significant contribution they have made in providing DofE opportunities to learners at the college over the years.”

The final word goes to Kitty and Lowri, who spoke positively about their DofE experiences.

A former pupil at Darland High School, Lowri is studying Criminal Justice at Yale, and said: “I achieved my Bronze and Silver at Cambria and am now working toward my Gold. As well as learning new skills it has helped towards my career as I hope to a be police officer in the future.”

Uniformed Public Services student Kitty added: “I’m also doing my Gold award and being part of the DofE helped me to get work placements and employment opportunities. It’s also good for your CV and the community, which is really rewarding.”

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