Friends of the Award

Supporting Young People to Achieve

Friends of the Award are celebrating their 20th year of supporting young people from across Edinburgh and the Lothians to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

This milestone was recognised by Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, who invited the charity to a Reception at the Scottish Parliament on the evening of the 23rd November, 2017. This event was attended by over 50 FOTA trustees, staff members, project partnerships, volunteers, as well as young people and family members from a range of FOTA projects from the last 20 years.

Friends of the Award was set up in 1997 to help make the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) accessible to a broad spectrum of disadvantaged young people across the region. By working closely with the City of Edinburgh Council Outdoor Education Department, as well as partners from a range of provisions across Edinburgh and the Lothians, FOTA are continuing this work across numerous projects including the CAMHS DofE Project, Youth Development Project, Midlothian Schools Project, as well as the Inclusive and Open Expedition provisions. More recently FOTA have introduced their own youth achievement award – the Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) which aids transitions for 5 – 13 year olds. These awards are accredited programmes designed to promote wider achievement across a range of activities, aimed at developing confident individuals who engage with their community and are able to work as part of a team.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP says: “Youth development is an incredibly important part of our society. By providing a range of opportunities to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Junior Award Scheme for Schools programme, FOTA are improving the skills and confidence of young people from a range of backgrounds across Edinburgh and the Lothians. To have been doing so for 20 years is outstanding, and I wish the charity continued success into the future”.

Peter Wright MBE, Vice-Chair of the FOTA Board says: “Enabling young people to achieve recognition for their own success, and to overcome life`s challenging circumstances along the way has been at the forefront of all that FOTA has done for the past twenty years. Our record in this is outstanding, and a great many young lives have been transformed thereby.”

As the founder of FOTA, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the organisation on such a worthwhile contribution to youth work in and around Edinburgh, and especially on this notable anniversary. I take much pride in all that FOTA has and continues to do so well, and it is an honour to be able to serve alongside the immense tide of voluntary and professional goodwill that sustains it.”