ONE man has devoted over 20 years to training youngsters for an adventure challenge.

Ian Clarke, 56, snapped up the Education Champion gong after dedicating his time and energy to supporting children through the Duke of Edinburgh Award. He said: "I completely devote my time to help children and have even missed my son's 18th and daughter's 21st birthdays by being away at weekends plus wedding anniversaries.

"I'm absolutely over the moon. For me the award is for all of those who put effort into running and taking part in the scheme." He regularly spends weekends training teenagers to survive the outdoors through long hikes and camping. Mr Clarke, of Welbeck, Bracknell, was nominated by his wife of 32 years, June, and juggles his job as a courier with volunteering as an assessor.

He said: "I just love working with young people and the scheme gives me the chance to work with the biggest cross section of young people around." The Duke of Edinburgh Award is in three stages, bronze, silver and gold and challenges youngsters to explore the great outdoors. It is a highly respected achievement and those who reach the gold stage receive their award from royalty.