The age of discovery

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THE HARD work of over 50s who take part in the Discovery Award scheme was recently celebrated at a special ceremony.

This year’s Discovery and New Horizons Awards event was held in the Charlotte Toal Centre, Coatbridge, with 150 people attending.

The Discovery Award is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and offers challenges and adventure to people aged over 50 years.

The event was opened by Stewart Wright from the council’s community learning and development section while Provost Jim Robertson and Andrew Stewart, chairman of the Discovery Award Association, presented the Bronze certificates for Discovery.

The Provost and Laurie Young MBE, director of the national Discovery Award Association presented the Silver, Gold and 2nd Gold certificates, plus the Challenge 25 certificates, for Discovery.

Councillor Jim Logue presented the New Horizons Award certificates in his role as ‘champion’ of this North Lanarkshire Council initiative.

Some of the local winners included Bronze Award: Frances Findlay, Babylon David Henderson, Elizabeth Purdon and Lorna Smith, Golden Girls + 1 Discovery Group, Cumbernauld and James McCarthy, Moodiesburn and District Discovery Group.

Gold Award: Marion McBride and Sheena Wilson, Garrell Vale Optimists, Kilsyth.

New Horizon: Anne Russell and James Hutchison, Garrell Vale Optimists, Kilsyth.

Second Gold Award; Anne Russell, Garrell Vale Optimists, Kilsyth.

Those who attended the ceremony were then offered workshops in health, environment, DecoupArt, weaving, jewellery- making and quizzes.

The Discovery Award for learners aged 50 and over has been in operation for five years in North Lanarkshire.

The scheme currently has 223 members in groups throughout the county and Discovery is based on the Duke of Edinburgh Award, with Bronze, Silver and Gold Award levels.

It takes each participant, on average, approximately five years to achieve the Gold Award level.

In North Lanarkshire there are approximately 48 participants who on having reached the Gold level expressed an interest in continuing to be actively involved in their own learning and community.

North Lanarkshire Council therefore devised the New Horizons Award to provide a progression route for those who have completed their Gold Discovery Award and is targeted at increasing the involvement of participants in the development of their local community.