UK Power Networks worker Darbie Hughes proved a shining light by achieving a Duke of Edinburgh gold award, says The Crawley Observer.
The 22-year-old took on the challenge while she was an apprentice and spent five days hiking 50 kilometres through Snowdonia in north Wales.
To achieve her gold award, Darbie was part of a group that walked 792 miles for their expedition training, volunteered 360 hours, spent more than 1,000 hours on physical activities, 13,500 hours learning new skills and more than 1,000 hours were spent on residential activities.
Electricity apprentices at UK Power Networks all have the chance to complete a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme during their training. This develops the teamwork, resilience and energy needed in their working life.
Darbie said: “Hiking isn’t something I had done before and our practice expedition taught me a lot about myself. I learned how determined I can be if I put my mind to something. I didn’t think I would make it to the end at times but I pushed through it.
“Although I knew I would be walking eight hours a day in all weathers with a heavy backpack you can’t understand what that is like until you do it. We were advised to prepare and make sure we had good boots but I didn’t take on the advice and instantly regretted it.
Darbie said: “It’s an incredible feeling to have completed my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. It’s an impressive achievement, especially when you know how hard we worked for it.”
Caroline Glen, director of fundraising at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said: “In an ever-changing world, supporting young people to enhance their skills is important for a prosperous future. The Gold Award is the highest level of DofE programme that can be completed and Darbie should be proud of her achievement.
“The DofE develops the positive characteristics we look for in our employees such as teamwork, responsibility and resilience. That’s why we joined forces with the charity three years ago, to give our young apprentices the best start to their careers with us.”