The journey of a lifetime: A letter of thanks

Award participant, Sandy

To all at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award,

I am writing on behalf of my school to thank you for your generous grant that has allowed myself, and many other students to complete our bronze Award as part of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

At the beginning of this year, my school introduced The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award to our year 9 students for the first time. This was to be an exciting and challenging experience for my younger peers to learn to set goals and accomplish them. It was so exciting that I too wanted to take part in the adventure.

However, I was hesitant. I am a young carer of my mother who has physical and mental disabilities. I also have two younger brothers, whom I have cared for since the age of 10. I manage all aspects of home life, particularly when my mother is in hospital; things like cooking and cleaning, and working long hours in order to pay all the rent and bills on time.

I had all my forms signed and was ready to start my bronze Award before my Award Leader told me about the costs involved in partaking in the Award. Sadly, I had no choice but to let this opportunity go. I was very disappointed and knew I would miss out on a journey of a lifetime. That was until about a week later, when I was approached by my Award Leader and everything changed. He told me my school had received special funding from a grant supporting vulnerable young people which meant I could do my Award! I was over the moon!

I am thrilled to say I have now completed my bronze Award and can confidently express that this adventure was indeed a journey of a lifetime. It has helped me create meaningful friendships with my younger peers (which is outstanding as I am now a school captain); it has pushed me outside my comfort zone to persevere with challenges I have faced to become a young adult of good character. As a bonus, I have discovered a new passion and appreciation for hiking and exploring my beautiful country, Australia.

I cannot express in words how thankful I am to everyone involved with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award but I thank you all and I hope you continue to inspire young people across the globe to reach their goals.

Yours thankfully,