Year 9 pupil Sophie Hamilton is well on the way to completing her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award following an impressive fundraising campaign to raise over £600 for the Muscular Dystrophy Charity.
As part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, Sophie is required to complete three set tasks in the categories entitled; Skills, Physical and Volunteering – each one for a 3 month period, as well as undertaking a challenging two-day, overnight expedition.
With a practice expedition under her belt – a hike from Settle to Clapham, using only compass directions, she has mastered the required navigation skills and camp craft, and endured an overnight camp in wintry conditions. She now feels fully prepared to take on the assessed expedition in April.
‘I wanted to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme because I really like a challenge, but I did not think it was going to be that cold in the tent, it was freezing’, she said.
‘At least it should be warmer next time, and I do now think that I could successfully complete the assessed expedition.
Sophie has already completed the ‘Skills’ section with a course in dressmaking and for the ‘Physical’ she undertook a training programme with a qualified personal trainer.
But it was the volunteering section that represented a more personal challenge and one close to home.
Sophie’s mother suffers from Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, a very rare form of the disease which causes weakness and wasting of the muscles in the arms and legs. With a national fundraising initiative ‘Go Orange for Muscular Dystrophy’ falling on her mum’s birthday, this seemed to present a perfect opportunity to complete her voluntary work and contribute to such a worthwhile charity.
Sophie set to work to rally the members of her local community, in the village of Oakenshaw, to join in the fundraising day. She designed posters to put in local shops and used social media to encourage donations for a grand prize raffle. A non-uniform ‘Orange Day’ at Woodland Primary School, where her younger sister Aimee is a pupil, and a grand bake sale, also made a significant contribution, to push the final total raised to over £600.
Mr Warren, who runs the Duke of Edinburgh scheme said: ‘Sophie ran this fundraising day with enthusiasm and a real determination to make it a success. To raise so much money is a tremendous achievement, she should be extremely proud of herself’.
Sophie is now working with her form class to plan a fundraising day at the school in the summer term.
Pic: Sophie with a photo of her mum, Wendy and her younger sister Aimee.
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