A hundred intrepid young people trekked the valley mountaintops on a 12 mile hike as part of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s successful Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Programme.
But the kind-hearted youngsters didn’t just undertake the challenge to gain their awards, they also hope to raise more than £1,000 for Barnardo’s Children’s Charity.
Before they set off on their expedition Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor Cllr Sylvia Jones met them at the start of their journey at St Peter’s Church, Pentre in the Rhondda to offer her support.
“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme is based on volunteering and helping others. It is marvellous to see so many young people, with their youth workers and teachers, contributing to such a worthwhile local charity in this way,” she said.
“They are an inspiration to others by giving up their time and making such an effort to raise money for such a worthy cause”.
Students from Y Pant Comprehensive, St John the Baptist High, Ysgol Gyfun y Cymer, Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg, Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive, Hawthorn E3+ and Cardinal Newman High Schools joined Miskin Youth Club, Maerdy Youth Club and the Gold Open Award Duke of Edinburgh’s Participants to put their best feet forward.
Led by the Council’s Services for Young People group leaders and Detached Youth Work Team, the troop was also joined by Rhondda Cynon Taf Youth Mayor Lewis Jevons who chose Barnardo’s as the charity to benefit from the fundraising activity.
And although the going got tough at times, the weather stayed fine, if cold. All of the hikers persevered and reached their destination in Porth in good time.
Despite aching legs and a few painful blisters, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air and exercise, and together with the navigation skills required, this was a good training opportunity for the young people before they undertake their Duke of Edinburgh’s Expeditions this summer.
For more information about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in RCT, contact Kerry Rees, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Development Officer, on 07786523915 or 01443 744107 – or visit www.DofE.org