September 25th 2015

Outstanding results at Nottinghamshire ACF

Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) has embraced the opportunity to develop its Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award programme, with outstanding results.

As one of the most popular development programmes for young people aged from 14 to 24 years, the DofE award can be completed through schools, colleges and many youth organisations including the ACF amongst other places.

Nottinghamshire ACF is one of the organisations to recognise the importance of the award and the benefit it can bring to those who complete it. Their County DofE Awards Officer, Jamie van Oppen, has made it his mission to double the results previously achieved in the county.

In 2007 Jamie van Oppen completed his Gold DofE Award as a Cadet, but it wasn’t until he applied to go to university that he realised the positive impact the award could have on his career. He said: “The award has great value. I enjoyed everything I did as a Cadet in the ACF but completing the DofE Gold Award gave me something to map my achievements against – and something interesting and different to talk about on my university application form.”

In March 2015, now an adult volunteer aged 24, Jamie was appointed as Nottinghamshire ACF’s County DofE Officer. He continued: “I’m really keen to help our Cadets to achieve the award as I understand how highly it is regarded in the wider world of education and work.

“The essence of the DofE Award is that it encourages young people to try new things and reflect on what they achieve. It encourages Cadets to build their self-confidence, leadership abilities, time management and self-reliance, but more than anything to appreciate that if they set themselves a goal and work hard towards it, they can achieve what they set out to do.

“Over the past few months, I have been working to raise the profile of DofE in our county. I’m proud of what I have achieved so far, but in my mind there is always room for improvement and I look forward to continuing working towards better results. As adult volunteers we inspire our Cadets to achieve, and there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing them develop.”

The numbers:

From January to December 2014 Nottinghamshire ACF achieved:

42 Bronze DofE Awards
8 Silver DofE Awards
0 Gold DofE Awards
From January to September 2015 Nottinghamshire ACF achieved:

45 Bronze DofE Awards
24 Silver DofE Awards
4 Gold DofE Awards

Jamie, who works as a Doctor in his civilian career, continued: “This is the first time in almost a decade that we have achieved gold awards. There are no words to describe how delighted I am with the Cadets’ achievements to date.”

“I’m really keen to help our Cadets to achieve the award as I understand how highly it is regarded in the wider world of education and work."