Mr McBride receives award

Duke of Edinburgh instructor gets award of his own after helping pupils achieve them for 25 years

Mr McBride with his certificate outside St James' Palace

Mr McBride with his certificate outside St James’ Palace

A schoolteacher who has helped hundreds of pupils through the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award scheme over a quarter of a century has himself received an award.

Paul McBride, 53, a science teacher at Wigston College was invited to St James’ Palace earlier this month to meet the Duke of Edinburgh.

The meeting was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the scheme which provides a challenging and rewarding programme of personal development for young people, celebrating his 31 years’ service, including 25 years as DofE leader for the college.

He was given VIP treatment including a guided tour of the palace and met his childhood hero Phil Brown, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic 400m silver medallist who is now a DofE representative.

Paul, who is also subject leader in health and social care at the college, instructs and guides between 40 and 50 youngsters each year at the college through the scheme’s bronze, silver and gold awards, with about 10-15 per cent going on to gain gold awards.

As well as three lunchtimes a week he is involved in regular weekend expeditions with the 14-18-year-old students.

He said: “I get a kick out of seeing the kids conquer, in some cases their fears, and do well in something other than their school subjects.

“They enjoy the different aspects of the awards which can be a challenge which also builds relationships they will keep for life.

“The vast majority of the children taking part give very positive feedback and are proud of what they’ve achieved. From my point of view, that says it all. It builds confidence and makes them feel good about themselves.”

As an added bonus on his visit Paul saw two former students, Adil Rashid and April Trigg presented with their gold awards.

Paul added: “That made the occasion even more special, it was nice to be there with them and that was the best thing for me. I do it because I love it and I love to see the kids do well.”

Helen Guest-Guinnee, the college’s marketing and information coordinator, said: “This is an amazing achievement and it was testament to the work of Paul that he was able to watch two former students receive their gold awards.”

Story and images taken from the Leicester Mercury