Army Cadets reach final selection for Duke of Westminster Awards 2012

4 April 2012

On the 11th April, 21 young competitors will face a challenging 36 hour assessment in the Quantock Hills in Somerset to determine which of them, selected from over 20,000 young people earning extracurricular qualifications with educational charity CVQO, can prove themselves worthy of the top prize.

The participants, all members of UK uniformed youth organisations, have been chosen to compete in the last round of selection for the Duke of Westminster Award 2012. The prestigious competition is organised by CVQO and sponsored by the organisation’s patron, the Duke of Westminster. Not only are the hopefuls competing for the highest accolade of being named winner, but also for a place as one of the top nine learners to participate in a three week expedition to South Africa.

The event will test communication, teamwork and leadership skills through a variety of demanding physical and mental tasks. This year, 250 entrants were nominated for the award. These are young people who possess a wide range of skills and abilities and have overcome personal challenges, as well as demonstrating a consistently high level of commitment to their communities and their peers. In addition, the activities undertaken during the challenge will meet the criteria for each candidate to achieve a Level 3 Award in Leadership from the Institute of Leadership and Management.

The army cadets taking part are:

John Bailie, 2 (Northern Ireland) Battalion ACF
James Bamforth, Surrey ACF
Jordan Burghall, Merseyside ACF
Adam Campbell, 1(Northern Ireland) Battalion ACF
Pippa Haines, Hampshire and Isle of Wight ACF
Precious Oyelade, SE London ACF
Katie Simpkin, Suffolk ACF

Edward Woods, Chief Executive of CVQO and head of the selection panel, said: "These cadets are the cream of the crop of over 20,000 CVQO learners. They have done extraordinarily well to get as far as the finals, but this week will prove to be the real test. The fantastic 3 week South Africa trip should be a real incentive".

The nine finalists will be announced at the end of April and will attend an awards ceremony and luncheon in June, where the Duke of Westminster Award winner and runners up will be announced. All finalists will then participate in the expedition to South Africa.

In addition to other qualifications, all participating cadets have gained BTEC diplomas with CVQO, and cite this learning experience as invaluable to their future educational and career development.

This is an annual prize that has been created by CVQO to recognise the organisation’s most outstanding learner. To be considered, participants must have demonstrated a consistently high level of commitment to their communities and peers. Learners must be enrolled in CVQO’s BTEC Programme in order to be eligible for the award.