Cadets conquer Cheviots on D of E Award expedition

A Berwick teenager was among air cadets from across the Durham/Northumberland Wing area who completed the expedition of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Monday, 18th September 2017, 09:09 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 10:37 am
Ryan Mabon, far left, from Berwick, with other air cadets on their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award expedition.

Ryan Mabon, 18, was in a team of four boys who took a challenging route through the picturesque College Valley and into the remote central area of the Cheviots.

In total, 22 cadets and staff, aged between 16 and 24, spent four days in the Cheviot Hills, completing a journey on foot that they had planned themselves, taking them from Wooler down to Alwinton.

They were entirely self-sufficient throughout, carrying all their own equipment and food, camping out in tents, and even collecting and purifying their drinking water en route.

Most of the cadets had already completed the bronze and silver levels, so this was the culmination of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award experience, and a challenge in its own right.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Squadron Leader Liz Green said: “This is one of the toughest challenges that our young people face in their cadet career. As well as the physicality of the venture, they have to be resilient in the face of difficult terrain and unpredictable weather, and they must learn to work as a team and accept each other’s strengths and differences if they are to complete the expedition successfully. The life skills they learn as part of this experience will stand them in good stead.”

Officer Commanding Durham/Northumberland Wing, Wing Commander Dave Harris, said, “The Gold D of E Award is one of the most prestigious achievements that we can offer our Cadets, and for 22 of our young people to complete this section of their Award together is outstanding. They should be extremely proud of their success.”

The Cadets, once they have completed all five sections of the Gold Award, will travel to St James’ Palace to be presented with their Awards.