Published: 14:52, 30 April 2021
| Updated: 15:15, 30 April 2021
An electricity apprentice trained on moorland and trekked 50km through a cold Snowdonia to complete his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Joe Lewis, from Gravesend, finished the programme as part of his apprenticeship with UK Power Networks Services.
One of 20-year-old's highlights was a four-day camping adventure.
Joe also took part in training expeditions on Exmoor and Dartmoor which were followed by a final expedition trekking 50km through Snowdonia.
He also volunteered at Oxfam’s shop in Gravesend.
Joe said: “I would definitely recommend the Duke of Edinburgh Award to other young people because it builds teamwork, which is reflected in the workplace.
“The expedition was very difficult, so there was a real sense of achievement when we finished.
"We were walking over different terrain, up and down hills, carrying all our equipment and everything we needed. It was a great location, but cold.”
Joe joined the company’s apprenticeship scheme in 2017 and last year he became a qualified technician at UK Power Networks Services, which maintains the electricity network which powers the high speed railway.
He was named Apprentice Rising Star in the company’s recognition awards in September.
Since 2016, all apprentices who join the company have had an opportunity to take part in the scheme founded by the late Duke of Edinburgh.
Nigel Grapes, engineering trainees team leader, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award is often a life-changing experience, and for many it will assist in the personal development of each individual by helping them understand the importance of working as a team and being able to deal with adversity.
"It’s also fun. Many of the benefits may not appear for several years, but will manifest in their individual makeup and provide them with memories that will later support their career and life choices.”
To achieve their DofE, UK Power Networks’ latest 35 gold recipients walked 3,500 miles for their expedition training, volunteered 840 hours, spent more than 2,520 hours on physical activities, 31,416 hours learning new skills and more than 6,475 hours were spent on residential activities.