On 11 March at St. James Palace in London, Catherine Irwin, a HiDef Aerial Surveying Limited (HiDef) Project Manager, received the Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) Gold Award from the Duke of Edinburgh.
The D of E scheme is designed to engage adventurous young people and provide them with rounded life skills, with the Gold Award being the highest level the scheme offers. In completing this, Catherine had to accomplish five elements: physical, skill, service, residential and expedition, all of which had to be completed within one year.
Catherine’s service element was completed by becoming the City of Newcastle’s district youth network member which then developed into becoming the youth representative for the City of Newcastle district at County level. This enabled Catherine to encourage more of the older Explorers within the district to join the network.
The residential element was completed in Finland at an international camp called Roverway, where Catherine was placed in a patrol of other Gold D of E candidates (many of whom are still good friends) and with whom she took part in new activities and challenges. A key part of this was a community project in the town of Turku, which Catherine found an amazing experience, having to overcoming language barriers and other similar challenges, all of which she overcame.
Catherine also took part in an arduous four day expedition on the Yorkshire moors which even involved fighting off a hungry donkey! Catherine said “The Duke of Edinburgh award was a fantastic opportunity to gain new skills and face new challenges and experiences. To complete all three levels of the award and be able to meet HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at the end was such a special experience and one I will not forget.”
HiDef would like to congratulate Catherine on this hard won and prestigious award and we all hope that she is very proud of an amazing achievement!