A group of some of the most vulnerable teenagers in Yorkshire put in an extraordinary effort to pass their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. The eight pupils, from Meadowcroft School in Wakefield city centre, suffer from a variety of conditions including autism, ADHD, and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Most of them have troubled backgrounds causing severe social and emotional issues. The culmination of the gold award was a ﬁve-day camping expedition, with the challenge of kayaking more than 50 miles along the River Spey in Scotland.
Lynette Edwards, the headteacher of the school on Bar Lane, said: “Pupils come to Meadowcroft School with serious failure and rejection behind them and with society’s labels that they can’t succeed, so this is a significant achievement. “It is extra special because most people wouldn’t have believed they could have done this, even the pupils themselves. I’m immensely proud of the pupils for what they’ve achieved, but I’m also very proud of my staff who believed in them, and proud of the school for attempting this for the first time in our history.” The course assessor for Duke of Edinburgh Award, Simon Adams, who accompanied them on the expedition, said: “The DofE Gold Award is an achievement for any group of pupils to pass, but considering the social and emotional backgrounds of these pupils, the problems they have been faced with, and the resilience they have shown, the Duke of Edinburgh Gold achievement is extraordinary and they should be proud of themselves and their school.”