A Doncaster based business has become the first in the country to sponsor a school year through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).
Rejus, a Facilities Management business, have sponsored year nine pupils at Campsmount Academy to do their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Mathew Lynds, co-owner at Rejus said: “We are really proud to be the first company in the country to do this and to be leading the way in business interaction with schools and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
“As a company, investing in the future for young people is extremely important to us, and we see this sponsorship as a way to make participation in DofE more accessible to young people.
“Doncaster is my home town and I am a former Campsmount School pupil who was lucky enough to participate in this award myself.
“Being outdoors, sharing time with friends and learning new skills was invaluable to me. It has given me some of the fundamental values that I hold onto now, which have helped me to make a success of my career.
“Persistence and not being afraid to try new ideas or activities are now second nature. Only eight of us out of 140 of my peer group took part, I want to change that and give everyone the chance to improve their life opportunities.”
The sponsorship from Rejus means that all year nine children at Campsmount Academy will be starting their Bronze Award, with numbers rising from 30 in the last cohort to 149 thanks to the funding.
Currently only 3% of Doncaster’s eligible young people do their DofE with so many missing out on the opportunity and the life changing results it can bring.
Essential life skills are currently the focus in Doncaster and the participation in the programme encourages just that - persistence, tenacity, building confidence and the ability to have a go and take on new adventures. These are valuable in any person’s learning offering improved self-awareness and becoming who they are meant to be as they progress into adulthood.
Robbie Johnston, DofE regional director for the North of England, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Rejus, who has been able to grant money to Campsmount Academy to enable all of year nine to enrol on to their Bronze Award programme.
“For young people, doing a DofE programme offers a unique opportunity to grow as young adults and gain valuable life experience whilst developing essential employability skills such as confidence, resilience and drive.
“This funding helps us towards our ambition of all young people having the opportunity to do their DofE in the North of England, and across the UK.”
Established in 1956 by HRH Prince Philip, The Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has four sections: Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. It is expected that each section takes around three months, excluding the Expedition which is usually two days.
Mr Dale, principal of Campsmount Academy said “The aim of DofE is to inspire pupils to participate and achieve, bringing them a unique opportunity to be the best they can be.
“The partnership with both Rejus and the DofE and the commitment of staff at Campsmount allows us to provide more of our young people this amazing opportunity. The skills that they learn on the programme will be life changing for many.”
Mathew added: “At Rejus, we understand the barriers, both financial and those of peer pressure and are very keen to remove these to ensure this highly respected award, that means so much, can be offered to as many young people as possible.
“If more of our young people are provided this amazing opportunity, they will see that these skills are for all, not exclusively for the bright young people, it is something that everyone can do and should be able to access, and it will bring life changing skills to many.”
For more information about Rejus and the work they do visit www.rejus.co.uk