Nine recent Duke of Edinburgh gold award winners from St Swithun’s sixth-form enjoyed the opportunity to meet Prince Edward at St James’s Palace and speak to him about what they had undertaken to achieve their awards. Their certificates were presented by Rebecca Stephens, the first British woman to climb Mount Everest.
Rebecca talked about her own experiences and impressed on the award holders that the skills of overcoming challenges and building trust and teamwork are ones which are core to a DofE award and that these will be skills they can draw on whatever they do in the future.
Each year, around 120 St Swithun’s girls undertake their Duke of Edinburgh challenges, with around 25 achieving the gold award. Having achieved their DofE gold awards, the girls and a parent are invited to St James’s Palace for one of the presentations with the Duke of Edinburgh or the Earl of Wessex.
Completing a DofE award at any level is a significant commitment and requires resilience, self-motivation and independence from those taking part. To achieve the gold standard of the award requires all these attributes in abundance and is a magnificent achievement for those who are successful.
St Swithun’s DofE coordinator Andy Parker said: “It is always a huge pleasure to see the girls reach the end of their DofE journey and have this marked by collecting their certificates at St James’s Palace. It is a pretty unique opportunity to meet either the Duke of Edinburgh or the Earl of Wessex who are always very interested in what the young people have done to achieve the award and what they are doing now.”
The following pupils were presented with their Gold awards on this occasion:
Rebecca Dunn, Georgia and Hannah Tice (all from Southampton), Megan Jolleys and Hannah Hartman (both from Winchester), Sophie Hext from Dummer, Jessica Parker from Hook, Emma Shore from Petersfield and Olivia Williams from Brockenhurst.