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Power worker shines with Gold Award

A former electrical apprentice from Stevenage is celebrating after gaining their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award at a poignant time.

From News & press - 21 April 2021 12:00 AM

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Jack Charters, who works for UK Power Networks as a jointer, completed his award as part of his apprenticeship.

Since 2016, all apprentices who join the utility company have been taking part in the scheme founded by the late Duke of Edinburgh, whose life was celebrated at a ceremonial royal funeral last Saturday. 

The last cohort were presented with their Gold Awards by HRH the Earl of Wessex. Another 35 apprentices have recently finished their award after completing all five sections which involve several challenges including learning a skill, volunteering and training and completing a four-day, three-night camping expedition. 

Jack said: “You see a lot of the other apprentices through the course, but it’s a very different environment and taking on challenges you wouldn’t normally do, you get a better understanding of what everyone is about.

“With the Duke of Edinburgh passing away, it does make you think about the award and I’m glad to have been one of many people who have been through and done it, I’m really glad to have it under my belt and I’d definitely recommend others giving it a go.

“I helped at my brother Harry’s weekly Scouts group in Stevenage. They learn so many different skills it would be impossible to list them all. I wasn’t a scout myself, but my brother is 12 and really enjoys it so it was good to help out as much as I could there.”

Nigel Grapes, engineering trainees team leader, paid tribute to the scheme and its founder: “The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is often a life changing experience and for many it will assist in the personal development of each individual by helping them understand the importance of working as a team and being able to deal with adversity.

“It is also an enabler, which will focus students in understanding the importance of safe working whilst being able to challenge poor behaviours. It’s also FUN. Many of these benefits may not appear in the individual for several years, but will manifest in their individual “makeup” and provide them with memories that will later support their career and life choices.”

The Gold Award recipients are now awaiting an invitation to collect their awards.