Helen Molloy

I received my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award as a teenager back in the UK and some of the learning and skills gained have truly impacted positively on my life as an adult now; ultimately, I have HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and his vision to thank for that.
For me one of the greatest pieces of learning was through the voluntary service part of the award. I remember visiting an old people's home on a regular basis and loving hearing the stories of the residents from times gone by and learning that the greatest happiness comes from giving to others. At Christmas time, we took our musical instruments in to play for them and their joy was palpable even if our notes were at times off key! A truly wonderful and touching experience.
Furthermore, this was the first time the seeds were planted for me to learn Italian; the skills part of the award. I eventually went on to take a gap-year in Italy and gained my degree in Italian and French. My life has been all the richer because of it both professionally and personally. (The photo shared is one of me enjoying one of many trips to Italy over the years, in Piazza Maggiore, Bologna). I now live and work in the UAE where, yes, I still get to occasionally practice my Italian working in an international school!
The Duke of Edinburgh Award offered me a life-changing experience and I hope that it continues to inspire and open new doors to many young people in the future.