Conference success for ACF Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

1 December 2014

Over fifty delegates from all over the UK came together at the weekend (22/23 November) for the annual ACF Duke of Edinburgh’s Award training conference at the Cadet Training Centre Frimley. During the weekend delegate workshops included topics such as DofE and Cadet and the Community, Expedition Aims, eDofE, Assessor evidence, and Award completions. Talks on the new navigation syllabus, Piping and Drumming and a visit from DofE HQ staff at Windsor, added special interest to the conference.

For the outgoing DofE Development Manager and Chairman of the Advisory Panel Lt. Col Alistair Spowage MBE, DL it was one of his last duties. He said: “As I retire from the ACF, I am happy with where DofE is in the organisation. We are undoubtedly on an upward curve in terms of quality and number of award completions, and I am confident that Colonel Ashley Fulford as Chairman of the Advisory Panel and Lucy Welch as DofE Development Manager will be able to rely on those at the sharp end to continue the forward momentum. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with and for all of you. Good luck in the future, and who knows, perhaps we'll meet again somewhere down the trail?”

Colonel Alistair planted a special ‘In Action Together’ rose in the garden at Frimley Park. At a special dinner held in his honour he made a gift of a large Quaich, to be an annual award for the ACF county achieving most success in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. It was made this year to Northumbria ACF. He also presented the ACFA President’s Commendation for exemplary devotion to the ACF Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme to Major Steve Frost, Major Alan Thompson, Maj(Rtd) Robyn Jones MBE., Captain Tony Bloor MBE., Lt Col Roberta Turkington MBE., Lt Col Mike Gerrish MBE., and an ACFA Panel Outstanding service award to Major John Harmes.

Incoming panel chairman Colonel Ashley Fulford presented Alistair with the ACFA President’s Commendation for his exemplary devotion to the ACF Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme. To mark his departure, the DofE advisory panel commissioned Cadet Piping Major Jim Stout, National Cadet Piping Executive Officer to compose a new Pipe tune. At the dinner “The Spowages of Menstrie” was played by Major Stout who later presented the framed manuscript to an emotional Colonel Alistair and his wife Lindsey.

Colonel Alistair retires on 30th November.

Photo credit: Michael Nolan