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Even though Reuben Whitford joined Shellharbour Anglican College later than most of his cohort, and that many of his classmates were already well underway with their Duke of Ed journey, Reuben Whitford was keen to join the action and start his Award.  He was so keen in fact, that he has maintained this motivation throughout his schooling and has recently completed his Gold Award.

As an eager cross-country runner, Reuben enjoyed completing running as his Physical Recreation: “Initially I went running once a week and then it became twice a week and then it became every day.” Another highlight was the Gold Residential Project which he completed in Gilgandra, and he remembered how grateful the community was for their help.

Reuben also commented that participating in the Duke of Ed has been helpful in learning how to live with Type I diabetes. “The struggle of the diabetes has made me feel like I can’t do as much and it has weighed me down and you have to be continuously checking. Duke of Ed helped me to learn to be more independent in managing my diabetes.”

Reuben said he would not have been able to complete his Gold Award if he hadn’t received funding assistance from the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia.

“My Mum is a single Mum and she loves me to do extracurricular activities but it is often a challenge to fund these activities. That is why the National Funding Assistance was so helpful, as I was able to still go on to Gold level and enjoy the activities with all my mates.”

Grants are available for individuals and groups requiring financial assistance to participate in the Award. For more information https://dukeofed.com.au/resources/funding-assistance/