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Cheshire East Duke of Edinburgh Gold Expedition 2019 

11 December 2019

The youth support service at Cheshire East Council brought together a diverse group of young people over the summer to complete their Duke of Edinburgh gold expedition. 

The service offers bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh awards, believing that all young people should have the opportunity to complete their awards making adjustments so the expeditions are achievable.

The young people came together from across the borough and had many needs and disabilities including physical disabilities, autism, anxiety, learning difficulties and deafness.

During a practice expedition the young people planned, assessed and decided to travel to the Peak District, including the Tissington, Monsal and Manifold trails. 

On the expedition itself, the young people camped at the Waterloo Inn campsite in Biggin on the first night, the second night they stayed at the Pomeroy Caravan campsite and finished their stay at Backdane in Wincle. From starting their expedition at the beginning of the Tissington trail, in Ashbourne, they completed 60km by the time they had finished.

Adjustments were made to sleeping arrangements to accommodate one young person where a tepee was used instead of a normal tent. This allowed easier access especially with their walker and it meant that bending was limited. The young person was also provided with a camp bed so they could get down and back up from the floor more easily.

The expedition was unique and innovative with all the equipment needed to support the diverse needs of the group. For example; for the young person with the physical disability the team hired him an off road wheelchair and a member of staff was allocated to him to make everything inclusive. The team was hugely supportive of all young people and every young person challenged their own limitations as well as supporting each other.

The group faced many challenges with bad rain, sore feet, sore hips and tiredness but they pushed through to complete and even added an extra few kilometres onto their journey. They showed true determination, resilience, team work and the ability to problem solve. The young people physically and emotionally helped and encouraged each other through every step and kilometre.

A huge well done to all the young people and the youth support service and for all the activities available across Cheshire East visit our Local Offer