Supporting Major Development and National Projects
Our Special Projects fund was established to extend the reach of the Award, particularly to young people considered to be at risk or marginalised in society.
A small group of generous supporters funds initiatives and partnerships that help to deliver the Award to these young people. Every project is subject to careful appraisal before money is granted, as well as six-monthly reports and evaluation visits.
International Special Projects (ISP)
The International Special Projects (ISP) fund was established in the UK to extend the reach of the Award, particularly to young people considered to be at risk or marginalised in society.
A small group of generous supporters – the International Special Projects Group (ISPG) – funds initiatives and partnerships that help to deliver the Award to these young people.
Thank you to the generous ISP supporters. None of this would be possible without their dedication to the Award and the young people it reaches.
Australia has successfully obtained ISP funding over several years and currently we have three projects.
Cerebral Palsy Alliance – NSW
Cerebral Palsy Alliance has partnered with the Award in Australia to offer young people with cerebral palsy the opportunity to explore their potential and achieve success through participation and has provided these young people with the opportunity to grow personally and connect with others whilst focusing on their own unique abilities
Cerebral Palsy is a life-long physical disability that affects body movement, muscle control and coordination, posture and balance due to damage caused to the developing brain during pregnancy or shortly after birth
A young female who recently signed up chose to volunteer at her local primary school where she herself attended. She wanted to re-engage with her previous teachers as well as feed her desire to be around young children, to assist with reading groups or other areas of the classroom.
Since commencing this section, she has been assisting in the office with some admin duties, her confidence has improved around her ability in knowing what she can do unassisted and where she can adapt things to meet her limitations. She feels that even after meeting her bronze requirements, she will continue with volunteering for the civic engagement and social participation that she gets from it.
- The Award gives these young people a goal to work towards, facilitating a sense of empowerment and independence
- The Award ensures that the Participants can be actively and mentally participating in a program that has an expectation for them to achieve and fulfil the program requirements.
- The Award provides participants with the opportunity to be involved in a program that creates feelings of success and achievement instead of resulting in them focusing solely on the restrictions of their disability.
- The Award & Cerebral Palsy pilot will help encourage families, health professionals and service providers to modify their expectations of children with cerebral palsy and focus on motivation and possibilities rather than on their physical restrictions.
Disabilities Services Commission Project – WA
In July 2013, Muscular Dystrophy Western Australia launched the ground breaking program, The Duke of Edinburgh International Award. This project aims to increase the reach of the Award to disability services in Western Australia and thus far, participants include young people with autism and intellectual, physical and neurological disabilities. The program was championed by six young, inspiring individuals in its first year. Now in its second year, the Award is going from strength to strength with new Bronze Award Participants and our first Silver Award Participant.
The purpose of the project is to engage young people who have been diagnosed with a disability to do their Duke of Award, with the aim of providing them with a chance to actively and mentally ‘participate’ in the Award Program, where they can work towards achieving goals, provide them a sense of empowerment and independence and ensure they can experience a personal challenge.
Outcomes for Participants
- Gives these young people a goal to work towards, facilitating a sense of empowerment and independence
- Ensure that the Participants can be actively and mentally participating in a program that has an expectation for them to achieve and fulfil the program requirements.
- Provides Participants with the opportunity to be involved in a program that creates feelings of success and achievement instead of resulting in them focusing solely on the restrictions of their disability.
- This project will help encourage families, health professionals and service providers to modify their expectations of youth with disabilities and focus on motivation and possibilities rather than on their physical restrictions.
Muscular Dystrophy NSW Pilot
The MD NSW pilot project, allows young people to commence and complete their Bronze Award. Some are now undertaking their Silver Award. The positive feedback from parents and Muscular Dystrophy has been astonishing.
“I used to admire the people without disabilities; not because of the physical things they can do but because of all the different paths in their lives they have to choose from. The possibilities they have and I don’t. I had a simple mind and a simple world of my own… until I was introduced to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award by Muscular Dystrophy NSW. It turned my life upside down.
This Award made me believe that I have the one thing everyone else has; and that is the power to fight for my own dreams. It is like a force pulling me into the circle of life instead of watching from the outside. And so I’d like to say a big thank you to all involved with this program. Because of your generous heart, I am now a step closer to reach out for something I’ve always seen at a great distance but never been able to hold in my hands. My future. My dreams.”
Melanie Tran, Bronze Awardee from the Muscular Dystrophy NSW Pilot
Indigenous Outreach – QLD
This project is run by PCYC in QLD in collaboration with a range of community service providers that provide volunteer opportunities, skill programs, environmental projects, arts projects, sport and recreation and various camping projects. The project aims to maintain and increase cooperation with community services, especially Indigenous services. Currently, all active participants identify with Indigenous and/or are from disadvantaged backgrounds or classified as ‘at-risk’.
At the end of 2014 one of the PCYC groups ‘the Vincent SS participants’ were screened by national and regional TV in the evening news covering their efforts within their skill and volunteering sections: For their skill they made elaborate paintings which were then donated to the Ronald McDonald House (Children’s hospital) along with handmade teddies and mandalas they prepared for the young patients to colour in. They also donated money which they had raised with a sausage sizzle and other efforts.
Participating schools offer to participate in some of the costs if necessary. For example Pimlico High offered to cover the costs for seeds and mulch to set up a herb garden at the school (volunteering/skill program). Heatley Secondary College bought the boomerangs that were painted in preparing for cultural events (skill program). Heatley High also supplied the arts teacher. ISPG funding covered the paints and brushes for this project.