Press release

Earl of Wessex presents award certificates to Hydebank inmates

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex has presented 13 inmates at Hydebank Young Offenders' Centre in Belfast with Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award certificates today.

All 13 award winners voluntarily undertook and successfully completed the awards programme of self development. They are now part of a group of over 4 million young people who have been helped by the organisation since it began in 1956.

With the widest reach of any UK youth charity, around 275,000 young people undertake the DofE programme every year and around 30,000 participants are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

His Royal Highness was greeted by Mr David Lindsay, Lord-Lieutenant of County Down and went on to meet Mr David Ford Minister of the Department of Justice, Mr Colin McConnell Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service and Governor Gary Alcock, Hydebank Young Offenders’ Centre.

Before the award ceremony His Royal Highness accompanied by Governor Alcock visited residential accommodation within the centre and took the opportunity to meet a number of inmates and prison staff.

His Royal Highness went on to meet with the award winning inmates and in the company of Ms Valerie Pitman OBE, DofE Officer from the Probation Board of Northern Ireland and invited guests, presented the coveted awards in recognition of each inmate’s outstanding achievements.

His Royal Highness was presented with a gift of Belfast crystal and later accepted an invitation to sign the visitors’ book.

Notes to Editors

His Royal Highness was greeted by:

David Lindsay Lord-Lieutenant of County Down,

Councillor Vivienne McCoy, Mayor Castlereagh Borough Council,

Stephen Reid, Chief Executive Castlereagh Borough Council,

David Ford, Minister Department of Justice,

Nick Perry Permanent Secretary Department of Justice,

Colin McConnell Director General Northern Ireland Prison Service,

and

Gary Alcock, Governor Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre.

For more information about the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme visit: www.dofe.org

For information about the Northern Ireland Prison Service visit: www.niprisonservice.gov.uk