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HMSG represented at the Diamond Jubilee Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Ceremony

May 24th, 2016

Recent leaver, Ellie Evans, writes of her memorable experience at the Palace:

“On the 16th of May I had the privilege of being able to go up to London to collect my Duke of Edinburgh Gold award.  As luck would have it, my presentation coincided with the scheme’s 60th anniversary, so the Duke of Edinburgh went all-out and invited 1500 young people and their associated organisations to the Palace for a cup of tea, a slice of shortbread and a gander round the gardens.

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“Before the ceremony, I met Miss Scott and Mrs Pascoe as they themselves were receiving recognition for their participation in the Diamond Challenge –where they were taking part in the Three Peaks challenge around the UK.  And Miss Scott especially, for the tireless work she undertakes as co-ordinator of DofE and for the energy and enthusiasm she always shows with it!

“The ceremony was a celeb-filled affair which certainly made for some interesting people-watching, and allowed time to pass quicker as we tottered in our heels.  Highlights included the appearance of Philip Schofield (the silver fox himself), Ainsley Harriott, Fred and George all the way from “Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes”, and the lead singer of 90’s group Boyzone – Ronan Keating.

“I received my award along with all the other young people from Wales and then got a visit from HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex.  Here we talked about what we all did for each section of our award.  For mine, which seems like an age ago seeing as I’m in my third year at university, I played Lacrosse for my sport, volunteered at Age UK on Saturday afternoons in town for my service, and played the flute for my skill.  For my residential I went to a forensic science/medical conference in Nottingham.  The 4-day trek was in the Black Mountains with Mr Hunt and my group the ‘Cheeky Trekkers’ which certainly tested our resolve and sanity in such dire conditions.

“I found DofE to be so rewarding in making me a more well-rounded person through volunteering and being able to do things like read a map and use a compass correctly.  The treks definitely improved my team-work and delegating techniques which have helped me in future endeavours.  All in all, collecting my Gold award was a memorable day and a welcome break from exams with a fancy trip up London!”

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