Bolton set to shine like Diamonds!

Posted on Tuesday 27th September 2016

Launching the challenge: student Saaria Ahmed, representing the Students’ Union, Vice Chancellor Prof Holmes and Bolton’s DofE Diamond leader, Karen Openshaw

University of Bolton staff and students are calling on their town to unite with them in the once-in-a-lifetime Duke of Edinburgh Award inspired Diamond Challenge.

Anyone and everyone who wants to help transform young lives through the celebratory fundraiser is being asked to sign up for the DofE Diamond Challenge which runs until the end of December.

The University aims to have 1,000 students and 100 staff from Deane campus joining together in the challenge. Now businesses, organisations and community groups are being called on to ‘face the challenge’ and join in the project.

The target is for everyone taking part to raise £60-plus and the diamond pins will be presented at a glittering ceremony set to be held early in the New Year.

Karen Openshaw is leading the DofE Diamond Challenge at the University of Bolton as CSR Programme Manager. ‘There’s no limit to what you can do – big or small, if it’s a challenge for you, it counts,’ said Karen. ‘You just need to register with the Duke of Edinburgh Diamond and add “University of Bolton” in the title bar on the justgiving page.’

Said Vice Chancellor, Prof George E Holmes: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh Award is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee (60 years). Throughout this time it has provided inspiring and challenging experiences for young people, helping them to develop essential life skills. The Diamond Award provides an opportunity for all those who have not engaged in the DofE Scheme to do so now, however late in life, and benefit equally. The University has committed to enter more than 1000 staff and students in achieving a Diamond Award this year.  This will be the biggest cohort on the DofE Scheme in the world. We hope to welcome the Duke himself to the University to present participants with their “Diamond Pin” award.  We need everyone to get behind this initiative and benefit from a great DofE experience.’


The University’s challenge bid is being supported by Bolton Students’ Union. President, Vivienne Newton is closely involved in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, volunteering as a leader locally. She said: ‘The DofE award helps young people to develop personal and team work skills. Fundraising to support the award will contribute to widening participation in the scheme which complements the University of Bolton’s own widening participation commitments.’

The DofE was founded in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and now runs in 144 countries. In that time millions of young people have taken part in the scheme. The Diamond Award is in celebration of the organisation’s 60th anniversary.

Looking for ideas for your DofE challenge? Karen Openshaw tackles the University of Bolton climbing wall.

One of the many local young people to have benefited from the scheme is Charles Sandbach of Little Lever, age 18. He said: ‘I believe that the Duke of Edinburgh award has been one of my greatest benefactors in making me a more rounded individual, through its teachings on the importance of teamwork, perseverance and also, when necessary, self-reliance. I would implore anyone to take part in this scheme and to support it.’

For further details see the University’s Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Website or contact Karen Openshaw