Following on from our last piece of news on Bishopsgate sponsoring Taylor for her lifetime of a trip next year to Borneo, I tracked her down for an update.
“Over the course of the last year I have completed my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, which consisted of four different aspects: volunteering; a physical activity; a skill, culminating in a two day trek. Due to the broad nature of what the awards involve, the commitment it takes to complete, Colleges and Universities consider the Duke of Edinburgh awards as the most highly regarded activity on applications outside of academic achievement.
During this 13 week period I had to complete 13 hours’ worth of work in each of the volunteering, physical activity and skill sections. As you know I volunteered at the local Cancer Research shop along with playing netball as my physical activity and then took up photography as my skill. Netball I play regularly anyway through Croft Netball Club, but the focus that the award brought to developing myself across the 13 weeks really helped me to see how I have improved my skill during this time”
Intrigued by the choice of photography I asked Taylor more. “Well I hadn’t really given much thought to photography before this, so I found it really interesting and something I may continue to learn about. And volunteering, I really enjoyed that experience. Although completely different to the type of volunteering I’ll be doing whilst it Borneo, I found it really rewarding, and plan to do more in support of charities such as Cancer Research” She continues, “The award finished with a two day trek, which was really challenging! We had to do a practice trek a month before the actual expedition, which helped us learn things like how to navigate using a map and compass. We had to be in a team with a minimum of four people (a maximum of seven) and had to carry all of our equipment and belongings with us while we walked. We had to plan a route we would follow back to a campsite, where we set up our tents and cooked dinner on tangiers (portable cooking equipment) before going to bed. The next morning we woke up at 5:30/6:00 so that we could pack up the tents and make breakfast before we left to complete the rest of the walk. The last couple of hours were really tough because we were in a lot of forest, meaning it was relatively difficult to figure out which paths we were on. We managed to finish on time and at the right place, where our expedition leader told us we had passed! Looking back, I really enjoyed the experience, especially as I did it with such a great group of people. I am really looking forward to completing the Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards in the future!”