YOUNG people from across Devon who have taken part in activities ranging from bagpipe playing, sign language and the Exeter Gang Show were given their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Achievement awards on Saturday. Out of nearly 100 youngsters who achieved their G

YOUNG people from across Devon who have taken part in activities ranging from bagpipe playing, sign language and the Exeter Gang Show were given their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Achievement awards on Saturday.Out of nearly 100 youngsters who achieved their Gold Award during 2007, 50 attended and received their awards by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Sir John Evans, who is the former Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall and himself a Gold Award holder.The Duke of Edinburgh award provides an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development for young people aged between 14 and 25. It is non-competitive, flexible in design and allows young people to set their own goals. The scheme is delivered through schools, colleges, youth clubs, voluntary organisations such as scouts and guides and churches. The Gold Award can take up to two years to achieve. Each participant has to cover five different areas of achievement - service, skills, physical recreation, expedition and residential experience. Some of the young achievers from North Devon and their activities include: n Beth Allin from Bideford Community College studied the economic history in the Elan Valley, Wales; n Her brother Sam Allin also from Bideford Community College did his residential in the Honduran cloud forest and helped with bat and bird netting.n Lucy Dymond also from Bideford Community College worked in a Romanian orphanage. n Hannah Bewes from Torrington Open Award Group cared for Holstein dairy cattle for her skill. n Emily Hooper from West Buckland School attended the Aberystwyth Music Festival for her residential. Councillor John Smith, Devon County Council's Executive Member for Children and Young People's Services, said: "My warmest congratulations go to all these worthy winners for their remarkable achievements. "It is heartening to see so many young people from across Devon involved in this superb scheme, and I have been impressed by the range of projects and expeditions they have undertaken to achieve this award."North Devon winners were: West Buckland - Emily Triggs, Laura Schofield, Emma Ladds, Emily Hooper.Bideford College - David Frisby, Emma Puddy, Lindsey Walter, Beth and Sam Allin; Lucy Dymond; Tasmin Thomas .North Devon Open Award Group - Ruth Bateman.Torrington Open Award Group - Giles Atton; Aaron Baker; Mark Ballantyne; Laura Bennett; Hannah Bewes; Bridie Dibble ; Cheryl Dunn; Claire Walter.Not all the recipients were able to attend the ceremony.