Robyn Southwood has dedicated eight years to motivating and supporting the rangatahi of Central Hawkes Bay College. This December, she is the only New Zealander (and one of only 100 around the globe) to receive a Royal Mint Award; a commemorative coin created to acknowledge the outstanding volunteer Award Leaders of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
The Royal Mint, the Original Maker of UK coins, unveiled the official commemorative to celebrate the life and legacy of one of the Award’s Founders: HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. To honour Prince Philip’s philanthropic legacy, The Royal Mint will donate £50,000 from the sale of the coins, to be split between The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the UK and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. The donation will help the charities continue to support young people in the United Kingdom and overseas.
When notified of the globally contested Royal Mint, the Central Hawkes Bay School community made it clear to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award team (New Zealand’s Award organisation) that no leader was more deserving than Robyn.
Robyn’s participants say she gives support when they need it but also enables and challenges them to make their own decisions and do the mahi (work) themselves. Robyn radiates passion for her participants every step of the way, including at the many Gold Award ceremonies (ceremonies that celebrate participants who have completed all three levels of the Award) she proudly attends. Time and travel are clearly no barrier, as she’s often found taking a four hour round trip to ensure she’s able to watch each of her Gold Award students shake the Governor General’s hand.
On Wednesday Dec 8th, Robyn will be the one in the spotlight when Central Hawkes Bay College surprise her with the Royal Mint in their last school assembly for the year.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award team are thrilled to see such a dedicated volunteer acknowledged on the world stage and will be sharing Robyn’s inspiring story with their Award Community following the school’s presentation.