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Shropshire students celebrate gold DofE awards at Buckingham Palace
16 Jun 2019
by Rebecca Dutton

A group of current and former Shropshire students have been to Buckingham Palace to collect an award and meet royalty.

Six students from Ellesmere College picked up their gold Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award at a special ceremony in May.

Ellie Hutchings, Adam Crossman, Jemima Burgess-Thomas, Dylan Evans, Sam Nieto and Tom Hills also had the chance to speak to the Duke of Gloucester about their experiences.

In total, Ellesmere College has 24 recipients of the Gold DofE award this year including a number of current students who have deferred receiving their awards as they focus on their exams and will receive them later in the year.

Jim Underhill, Gold Duke of Edinburgh Leader at Ellesmere College, said: “This was a wonderful day for all our students who took part in the scheme and obtained the Gold Award – it was an experience to enjoy and will live with those who took part for the rest of their lives.

“We are immensely proud of the achievements of all our gold award winners.

“They work hard to ensure they complete their academic studies but the DofE Award adds another set of life skills to help them in their future careers.”

Headmaster of Ellesmere College, Brendan Wignall, added: “The scheme is an asset to the growth and development of our young people across the country.

“Taking part strengthens character and provides a unique perspective and insight for those involved.

“It is amazing to think that this scheme helps to prepare nearly half a million young people for life and work across the country every year, we value it very highly here at Ellesmere College.”

The awards were presented by Sean Rose, a skiing Paralympic World Champion, after giving an inspirational speech to the group.

The Ellesmere College students were among 3,000 people from across the country who were given their awards on the day.

Ellesmere College is the largest single contributor in Shropshire to the DofE scheme as every student has the opportunity to go through it as part of their co-curricular activities – directly or via the CCF (Combined Cadet Force) – Army, Navy or RAF, to encourage the development of key life skills, leadership, team building, confidence and independence.