A LIFE enhancing award scheme has been extended so more young people can take advantage of the opportunities and experiences it offers.

Spennymoor regeneration scheme DurhamGate has joined forces with Durham County Council to extend its Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme for 14 to 24-year-olds from south west Durham.

The scheme is managed by Bishop Auckland College, which runs two groups at its main site and one at its Spennymoor campus.

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DurhamGate, a partnership between Carillion Developments and regional property business Arlington Real Estate, works closely with the charity, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, to help raise young people’s self-confidence and skills.

A group of businesses known as Friends of DurhamGate support the programme with funding and work experience placements.

Following the new agreement, candidates working towards the award at Spennymoor Youth and Community Association and Whitworth Park School and Sixth Form College will be able to tap into the DurhamGate programme.

This will include work experience placements and joining community projects.

Neil McMillan, director of Carillion Developments, said: “DurhamGate’s Duke of Edinburgh programme delivers valuable life lessons for young people that will stand them in good stead for life in general and when they enter the world of work or the next stage of their education.”