Going for gold is a great way to get on

Nicola McMahon

Going for gold is a great way to get on

One Forth Valley College employee is more thrilled than most that FVC recently achieved Duke of Edinburgh Award Licensed Organisation status.

Nicola McMahon (26) from Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, who is an Administrator in the College’s Estates and Facilities Department, has completed Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards and is now a certified Assessor for the organisation.

She started as a Modern Apprentice at FVC in 2014 - around the time she completed her Gold Award – and has since been training young people through her role as a Lieutenant in the 1st Uddingston Girls’ Brigade.

The College became the latest Scottish Further Education institution to offer The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to their students in January. FVC are now a Licensed Organisation of the DofE and its students will now be able to take part in the world’s leading youth achievement award.

A DofE programme involves volunteering, learning a skill, getting fit, planning and undertaking an expedition out in the country. Work-ready skills are developed whilst doing the DofE such as confidence, commitment, resilience and team working.

Nicola, said: “I really enjoyed completing my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. It seems like I have been doing it since I was a wee girl – I was 14 when I began - and now that I am an assessor, coordinator and supervisor for DofE, I am on an expedition at least once a month on a weekend throughout May, June, July and August.

“I would definitely recommend it to anyone under the age of 25. It is a very rewarding and worthwhile thing to do and I am now finding teaching these skills just as rewarding and worthwhile. I like nothing better than organising an expedition, making sure the young people are making their checkpoints on their walks, teaching them map reading skills and how to put up a tent!

“The programme allows you to realise that you can survive out in the wilds on very little and I think these are essential qualities to really get to know yourself and I think that everyone should learn them.

“Possessing a Duke of Edinburgh Award is a very good thing for your CV and it is a very useful for building up your confidence. I believe students could really benefit from getting involved and learning a new set of skills and meeting new people and making new friends.

“I think that doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award has definitely helped me in my career here at Forth Valley College.”

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