Duke of Westray Award Scheme Launched

A group of 6th Year students in Orkney will be the first to take part in the revamped Duke of Westray Awards. The Duke of Westray Award scheme once so popular in the county has not had any Orkney participants for 37 years. But that is about to change as Steven, Pamela, Olivia, Oscar and Frederick embark on an exhilarating 2 days of activities to gain a Platinum Award.


The Picturesque Island of Fara © Copyright Colin Park and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The 5 students have been training for the Award as part of the Curriculum for Exceptionalism under the supervision of their teacher, Cygnet Swanson. Mr Swanson, 48, said he was delighted that the students had come so far and hoped that they will succeed to complete the  gruelling 2 days of activities.

“It’s a huge task ahead of the lads and lassies” he said,” But we have prepared them well for this last part of the award and I am sure they will succeed”.

The 2 days which will see the students really put to the test will be taking place on the picturesque island of Farra.

The students are required to:

  • have no access to mobile phones
  • make their own beds
  • cook food other than toast
  • write the letter ‘i’ without putting a wee circle above it
  • never to use the term ‘lols’

Frederick said:

“I’m up for it. I’ve practised making a bed  and once you can change a duvet , you’ve got it cracked.” ,  but admits the physical exertion in completing that task leaves him tired out and emotionally drained.

Olivia admitted that she’s not looking forward to having to write without putting wee circles above the letter ‘i’ but plans just to omit that letter from any words she scribes.

A glum faced Olivia said:

” I know it will be hard and I am dreading it but mum and dad have already booked themselves  a 2 day City Break in Inverness so I have no choice.”

The Orkney News wishes the students and their accompanying teachers well on Fara. We hope that the emergency procedures for evacuating them if the strain is too much will not be required.

Reporter: Fergus Graemsay


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3 replies »

  1. A similar scheme was carried out on a bleak island off the coast of Nova Scotia. The young people involved had completely forgotten how to converse and sat, glumly, through the whole two days staring expressively and sadly at each other, with their fingers twitching slightly over an imaginary keyboard. Observers took this to be some kind of attempt at communication, but, sadly, it wasn’t – it was simply a residual effect of previous excessive button-pressing.
    They are now receiving counselling and hope to re-adjust to ‘normal’ life within the next five years.

  2. Loving the SPOOF subtlety and just because I know Fergus loves them so much. lol lol lol lol lol lol

    • I have no idea what you mean. The Duke of Westray Award scheme is an admirable project

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