Five hundred young people received their Duke of Edinburgh Awards at a ceremony at Huddersfield Town Hall.

Certificates and badges were presented by Paralympian gold medal winning cyclist Steve Bate and the Mayor of Kirklees Clr Jim Dodd.

The award scheme, which is celebrating its diamond jubilee, welcomed 1,448 new participants in Kirklees last year and now has 6,500 people taking across the district. Participants get involved in a range of activities designed to develop them as people through social interaction and teamworking. Young people progress through three levels of the DofE programme to achieve bronze, silver and gold.

Denise Bedford, award manager for Kirklees, said: “The developments in Kirklees DofE over the last 12 months have been phenomenal with more young people from hard to reach backgrounds and disabled young people taking part. All those involved should be commended for their dedication, vision and passion, which has led to some truly inspirational initiatives allowing more opportunities for young people.”

Organisers are appealing for people interested in sponsoring the work of the DofE in Kirklees in light of a cut to its budget this coming year – and for volunteers to work with young people or help with fundraising. Email

Paralympian cyclist, Steve Bate (centre) with some of the D of E Award scrolls and recipients (from left) George Farmer, Samantha Rogers, Thomas Hirst, Nathan Thorp and Firdaws Ul-Haq at the awards ceremony at Huddersfield town hall.