A Duke of Edinburgh Award centre in Timperley is celebrating the completion of 60 expeditions by local youngsters – and is planning to increase capacity to over 100 next year.
Participants at the centre – which launched in November 2015 and is based at Holy Cross Church on Park Road – have collectively walked the equivalent of Lands End to John O’Groats and back to complete their practice and qualifying expeditions at bronze and silver level.
Now the centre is planning to offer both walking and cycling expeditions, and the opportunity for those completing the silver level to progress to gold in 2017.
And it’s been given a further boost with the award of a grant from the Trafford Housing Trust Community Panel.
Paul Huxley, chair of the Altrincham panel, explained: “We want to make a real difference to the places where we live and supporting this project means 1,700 hours of community volunteering will be delivered over the next year.
“We are also keen to ensure that the award is as accessible as possible to our young people regardless of their family circumstances. Our funding will be used to purchase a pool of personal outdoor equipment required for the expeditions.”
Centre manager Andy Allan said they were now looking to increase their cohort of adult volunteers.
“We are looking for people who can work with the teams to train, mentor and supervise their expeditions, and for administrative support to help monitor the physical, skill and volunteering sections of the award,” he said. “We have set aside funds to ensure that our adult leaders are fully trained and supported.”
A meeting for young people, their parents and adults who are interested in volunteering to help at the centre will be held at 7.30pm on Sunday 13th November at Holy Cross Church Hall.
The Vicar of Timperley, Rev Jim Bridgman, added: “We introduced DofE at Holy Cross because its holistic approach chimes with the mission of the church, helping people to grow and develop their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
“We’ve certainly noticed a buzz around the church on a Thursday night as the young people prepare for their final presentations and look forward to a special service in January at which the Bishop of Stockport, Rt Rev Libby Lane, will present the first batch of awards.”