Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Award

Everyone at University Academy Kidsgrove would like to congratulate Mr McCue for receiving his Diamond Award Duke of Edinburgh award.

Mr McCue had this to say:

“Finally, I’ve achieved my own Award! A Diamond one!”

After 11 years working with students to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards I have finally achieved my own.

Earlier in the year I had been fortunate enough to meet the Duke himself at St James’ Palace for a personal “thank you”, and to attend the launch of the Diamond Award at Buckingham Palace. For many years I have felt greatly disappointed to be too old to achieve my Award.

However, this year the Diamond Award was introduced to people of all ages just for this anniversary year.

Having been so privileged to be a part of helping approximately 300 students at UAK and many others in my teaching career it has been great for me to finally get my Award. Although my Award was nowhere near as physically demanding as the students and their expedition section, I had to raise £60 to the charity and complete in a challenge of my own. I chose running.

Running is hard even for the limited distance I did, 5 Kilometres; it was tough training and actually running the race was difficult. I set my mind to it and began training, constantly pushing to achieve a decent pace to at least class my attempt as a race not just a fun run. To complete my Award I drove up to Liverpool to run a race dedicated to raising money for prostate cancer research. I managed to raise £119 for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with this money going to help underprivileged children, and £40 to donate on the race day to the prostate cancer charity at Knowsley Harriers Running Club.

On reflection the time I’ve spent leading, assessing and promoting the Award in this community has been so worthwhile. Knowing that for the volunteering each of our students had to undertake 3 months of service to the community equates to approximately 4,400 hours given back to our Kidsgrove community. To people in need like the elderly, primary school children, animal rescue, and charity shops, adults and children with specific learning and health needs. In addition, each student has spent nearly the same amount of time developing a personal skill and improving their own fitness.

To have been a part of such an amazing work has only been possible because of the time that others have given. Mrs Weaver, Mr Smith, Miss Sexton and Mrs Edgerton along with the other staff who have so kindly given up their own time to help our students succeed. You all have my admiration.

So I finally did it, I join the ranks of legend amongst all of those students who have achieved their awards through the years, tears, sweat, frustration, but mostly through their amazing focus to do something special. It just took me a lot longer.”