Library gets set for Royal visit

HRH The Duke of York
HRH The Duke of York

A borough library is gearing up for a touch of the Royal treatment ahead of a visit from the Duke of York this week.

Prince Andrew will be attending the Turnpike Centre in Leigh on Friday, November 3, to award residents who have completed the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), an accredited national programme designed to develop digital and enterprise skills.

The Turnpike Centre in Leigh

The Turnpike Centre in Leigh

Wigan Council was the first local authority to roll out the project, and a lucky handful of around 43 residents will be presented with bronze certificates by His Royal Highness after successfully completing the first leg of the initiative.

iDEA is a new, digitally-orientated version of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which traditionally focuses on physical activities and expeditions for young people.

By completing a series of online challenges, career-enhancing badges can be achieved that carry points going towards the bronze, silver or gold awards.

For every new skill mastered, iDEA learners are awarded a digital badge, as opposed to the physical badges that youngsters pick up for completing Duke of Edinburgh tasks.

The badges cover a wide range of digital topics, and all carry points. When a participant earns enough points, they received bronze, silver and gold awards.

Lesley O’Halloran, assistant director for customer services at Wigan Council said: “We’re extremely pleased with how the programme has been received in Wigan borough. There has been a great amount of take-up across all ages and the feedback we have received has been phenomenal.

“Each badge covers a wide range of topics from cyber security and animation to coding and there is no pressure to complete a topic in a specific time limit, so it really is flexible and realistic for a variety of ages and lifestyles.

She added: “It’s a privilege to have the Duke of York come along on Friday to make the celebration even more special for our residents.”

Wigan Council are offering everyone in the borough who takes part in iDEA an exclusive Digital Wigan badge, which counts towards their bronze award.

The silver iDEA award will be available from 2018 and the gold award will be available from 2019.

Start your iDEA journey now by visiting www.idea.org.uk.