Three accountancy trainees from Chester and Manchester are celebrating after completing the qualifying expedition for their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Gold Award.
Alex Narang, Jenny Martin and Megan Gibson, trainees in the audit faculty at RSM‘s Manchester office and accountancy and financial reporting team in Chester, completed the gruelling 63km trek across the Lake District as part of a five-strong team.
The DofE Gold Award is the highest level of three progressive youth achievement awards that under-25s can take on. The expedition is the final part of the 18-month DofE business programme designed to help young employees develop personal skills, behaviours and confidence while supporting their career development.
RSM has been offering its trainees the opportunity to take on the DofE Gold Award since 2016 and its popularity has grown every year. This year, 26 trainees from the audit, tax and consulting firm have signed up to take part.
Alex Narang said: ‘It was a great relief to finish the expedition. Over the four days, we encountered physical injuries which we didn’t expect, and our 16kg backpacks made the terrain much harder to walk on. Overall it was physically challenging but definitely worth the experience.’
Jenny Martin added: ‘The weather was challenging at times and we all had to encourage each other to keep up our morale, but despite the challenges we still managed to take the time to enjoy some stunning Lake District scenery.’
Megan said: ‘The four days of the trip were really hard work, but definitely worth it. The weather was extremely challenging at times so it was a great relief to cross the finish line and it felt as if we’d really achieved something.’
Jill Jones, RSM’s regional managing partner for the North West said:’ We are proud to support the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which has a hugely positive impact on those young people that take part.
‘Taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award is not easy, so all credit to Alex, Jenny and Megan for successfully completing the expedition. This required teamwork, technical capability and resilience – all qualities that we look for in our staff.’
The full team from RSM who completed the expedition were Susanna Qureshi, Alex Narang, Megan Gibson, Jennifer Martin and Jamie Whiteford. On completion of the programme, all participants will be invited to a ceremony at St James’ Palace in London to receive their award from a member of the royal household.