Awards Plus

Supporting Young People to Achieve

2023 marks 25 years since Friends of the Award in Edinburgh and the Lothians was established. From 1998 it has delivered and supported take-up of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award through local authorities, schools and youth groups. In particular, young people with no affiliation, and needing some extra help at an individual level, have been at the heart of its story. Thousands of young people – especially from marginalised and disadvantaged backgrounds, or going through mental health difficulties – have been helped.  

The reasons for establishing Friends of the Award in 1998 are no less valid now than they were then. It was set up to fill gaps in provision. To make sure that young people didn’t miss out. To look out for those not catered for, hard to reach, or in need of some extra help – for whatever reason.  

Today, there is still a ‘poverty of opportunity’ for many young people. 

This is where Awards Plus – building on the track record of Friends of the Award – comes in. 

A new strategy for 2023-25 focuses on three organisational priorities and three outward-facing agendas. This fits the work of Awards Plus with opportunities and challenges facing young people and educators in Scotland today. It builds on a 25-year track record of supporting achievement in accessible, inclusive ways. And it gives a foundation for future growth. 

Part 1 of the Strategy sets out what Awards Plus does, and who for. Part 2 outlines that as an organisation, Awards Plus will focus on: 
– Consolidation & Coherence – bring more joining-up and clarity to what it offers 
– Connections & Collaborations – strengthen current partnerships, build more, be more creative 
– Security & Longevity – planning, funding and staffing take a longer (3-5 year) view
and position work to contribute to:
– Nature-based Awards, Non-formal Learning, Personal Achievement
– Mental Health support, partnering with Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
– Learning for Sustainability

A re-set, building on its strengths, will set Awards Plus to confidently navigate its next 25 years. Please take a look, let us know what you think, and how you can be part of these vital next steps. 

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