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Royal Navy sailor rewarded for youth work

24 January 2017
An inspirational Royal Navy sailor has been presented with an award for supporting work experience students at Plymouth Naval Base.

Warrant Officer Spike Way received the Naval Base Commander’s Commendation for the excellence of his work with students from Devon which has a high number committing themselves to jobs in the Navy.

The award, from Commodore Ian Shipperley (Naval Base Commander Devonport), recognises Spike’s vital, enthusiastic and informed contribution to the programme, where he has single-handedly transformed a draft schedule predominately based around dockyard visits into a multi-discipilinary activity week highlighting various aspects of Naval life.

The base runs a twice-annual generic work experience week for school children from across Devon to gain an insight into Naval life.

Spike first joined the programme in 2010, and has since developed, planned and hosted the schedule over four years.

The citation said the outstanding success and reputation of the work experience programme can be directly attributed to the drive and enthusiasm of Warrant Officer Way, he is a true ambassador for the Naval Service.

The commendation stated he is extremely proactive, plans for cancellations and exploited his wealth of contacts both in Devonport site and South Devon.

He sincerely cares about the aims of the programme and packs in as many activities/experiences as possible to ensure that the students have an experience to remember.  

A typical week's programme contains an induction day in HMS Drake, a Royal Navy fitness run at the gym, MOD Police Dog section visit and a visit to HMS Bulwark.

Other attractions include experiencing life as a recruit training at HMS Raleigh on the low ropes course, marksmanship at the indoor shooting range and finally an educational tour of the submarine museum.  

A day based in and around Devonport included a trip around the harbour and out to Plymouth Sound in a tug boat when the students acted as coxswains on a tug boat. Tours of HMS Courageous and 1 Assault Group Royal Marines were highlights.

A visit to Dartmouth for a day at Britannia Royal Naval College included team-building and leadership and a boat trip up the River Dart.  A final day back in HMS Drake showed them leadership tasks, flight deck sports and a talk on Royal Navy careers.

Spike also acted as official photographer providing the students with a selection of photographs taken during the visits.

The award said he connects with every student and encourages them to ask questions to which he personally ensures they receive answers.  

At the end of each programme week Spike provides detailed, constructive feedback for every student often doing this in his own time.  All of these tasks are conducted outside of his normal duties on board a submarine.

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