Just before I went back to work, I signed up for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Diamond Challenge. This year marks 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and as former participant and gold award holder, as well as a former leader and manager for the award scheme it was something I wanted to get involved in.
I have some fond memories of my D of E experiences, from volunteering in a residential home for my bronze award, to learning to play guitar and improving my public speaking. The most high-profile element of the award is the expedition, and from trekking around Rutland water to the wild country of Derbyshire & Mid Wales and camping in the wrong place having come off the peaks in the fog. I am still in contact with some of the people I took part int he award in, and I believe in it as a way of developing as a person for young people. It’s not perfect, and issues around accessibility need to be improved – but then nothing is.
So what is the Diamond Challenge? Well, it can be any personal challenge. I have a former colleague who is doing a trek in the Scottish Highlands, someone else is giving stand up comedy a go. Money raised from these challenges will go towards making the award more accessible to young people across the UK.
In my current uncreative and unimaginative state from the pain killers I’m on, I am appealing for ideas for a challenge. It needs to be completed by 31st December, and realisitically as I am not allowed to start any real exercise until the end of July, a demanding physical challenge may be ambitious – I could probably manage a day walking if that tickles your fancy!
So my plan is to appeal for ideas from now – you can leave a message on th eblog, tweet me, comment on Facebook or send me a message in Snapchat or Instagram – @doobarz for the social media – then I’ll have a poll of the ideas in July and announce my chosen challenge around my birthday!