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Dave and Gam receiving their John Muir Awards

Dave and Gam receiving their John Muir Awards

Local volunteers at Buckingham Palace

Two Hastings residents, Dave Jones and Matthew ‘Gam’ Gain, who volunteer with the charity, Education Futures Trust (EFT) have received – and delightedly accepted – invitations to attend Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday celebrations at Buckinhgam Palace. Simone Brooks from EFT writes about their achievements and recognition.

Dave Jones and Matthew ‘Gam’ Gain were sent invites by conservation charity The John Muir Trust, for whom the Prince is a patron, in recognition of their outstanding achievements made while on Education Futures Trust’s ‘Without Walls’ programme.

Delivered by Education Futures Trust, the aim of ‘Without Walls’ is to build resilience and self-confidence in participants and help them into volunteering and work, while also promoting connection to the local natural environment. Both Dave and Gam made huge progress and experienced an incredible personal journey whilst on the two year programme.

“The course has been so inspiring, and a reason to get up and out! I feel more confident in my interaction with other folk, [and it’s] made me realise that my old ‘interest’ in the environment is also relevant to others”, commented Gam. “I’m determined to continue volunteer work in conservation related groups.”

Dave added “For the first time since I was young I feel at peace with myself, that I’m actually enjoying life. It’s as if I’ve crossed a threshold, like I’ve woken from a 60 year sleep.”

The John Muir Trust have been extremely impressed by Dave and Gam and recently presented them both with their John Muir Conserver Award, the highest level of the John Muir Award. The pair will continue their commitment to nature and wild places by working at EFT’s Firs grounds and supporting new ‘Without Walls’ participants.

The royal Birthday celebration will take place in the gardens at Buckingham Palace on 22 May and will be attended by representatives from 400 charities, including The John Muir Trust, who Dave and Gam will represent on behalf of Education Futures Trust.

For more information, visit the John Muir Award and for information on courses provided by Education Futures Trust visit their website.

Posted 17:12 Tuesday, May 15, 2018 In: Hastings People

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