TWENTY young people from North East Lincolnshire had a brush with royalty after hard work earned them a trip to Buckingham Palace.
The youngsters from across our region each completed their gold Duke of Edinburgh Award before the pandemic, bagging them a ticket to the meet His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex earlier this month.
The visit was facilitated by North East Lincolnshire Council’s youth engagement services, who manage the delivery of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in this area, and is the most young people ever sent to one ceremony.
Zakk Boswell, Abbie Bowns, Olivia Burton, Amelia Clarke, Eleanor Clausen, Emily Cook, William Coppock, Eleanor Johnson, Rhianna Lindsay, Jasmine Parker, Caitlin Penfold, Annabel Rouse, Henry Topley, Stephanie Skelton, Emily Louise Smith, Milly Towndrow, Alice Ward, Stella Webb, Carolanne White all completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards since the end of the pandemic.
The Award, which was founded by His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, to encourage young people to learn new skills and develop themselves.
There are three levels to the Award: Bronze, Silver and Gold, with each level getting progressively more difficult to complete. Each level is made up of different sections which youngsters much complete to achieve the full award. These are Voluntary, Skills, Expedition, residential and Physical.
The ceremony, which is open to gold award recipients and their families, was hosted by HRH The Earl of Wessex along with a host of celebrities, including British-Jamaican reggae musician, television personality and celebrity chef, Levi Roots, TV explorer Ben Fogle, DofE alumna and actor Nina Wadia, and The Apprentice’s Tim Campbell.
Councillor Margaret Cracknell, portfolio holder for children and education at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“The value of the Duke of Edinburgh Award cannot be overstated. In it’s 66 year history, thousands of young people have benefitted from the opportunities that the award has offered.
“That this is the most young people we have ever sent to one ceremony to accept their awards speaks volumes of the team of staff, family and friends behind these young people and the delivery of the scheme locally.
“I’m confident that each of these young people will now be ready to seize everything that life throws at them. Congratulations to each and every one of them and well done to the team that continuously coordinate this incredible scheme.”
Sue Campbell, Lead Practitioner for Adventurous Activities at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “I’m really proud of the young people and their achievements, and the individual journeys that they’ve all been on.
“They’ve all worked incredibly hard and achieved so much.
“I’d also like to thank those that have supported these youngsters – the staff, volunteers, parents and family members – to enable them to complete their awards.
“These young people really have made some special memories with new friends – things they’ll never forget, and they’ll look back on those for the rest of their lives.”
Jasmine Parker said: “I had a really hard time on my expedition. I cried every day and wanted to go home every day. Somehow I managed to keep going.
“Now I’m at university and any time I find something tough, I just remember those times and know that I can do anything.”
North East Lincolnshire Council’s Duke of Edinburgh coordinators, Sue Campbell, Gemma Goodwin and Jo Boswell, also attended the presentation.