Young people from Kirklees made history when they were presented with Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards by Prince Philip himself in his final presentation ceremony prior to retiring from public duties.
The Duke, 96, appeared relaxed and chatty as he met a selection of the 2017 award winners at a garden reception in the grounds of Holyrood House in Edinburgh, congratulating the young people on their many achievements. The event may also have been his last royal engagement in Scotland.
Among those present were 46 local award winners from Greenhead College, Holmfirth Open Award Centre, Mirfield Open Award Centre, Cambodounan Explorer Scouts in Huddersfield and Almondbury Open Award Centre.
They included Amy Butters, Aisling Connelly, Freya Dudding, Clara Duncan, Maja Emerson, Rosie Alice Forster, Eleanor Mary Gaines-Burrill, Claire Glover, Rebekah Hill, Thomas Hirst, Grace Horner, Maiya Loadman, Kathryn McCabe, Sophie Alice Metcalfe, Millie O’Neill, Laura Pearson, Matthew Potter, Timothy Potter, Zoe Rank, Oliver Roberts, Andrew Sharples, Lucy Sparling, Beth Sutcliffe, Emelia Grace Tankard, Molly Windle, Amy Womersley, and Jonathan Woodhead.
Denise Bedford MBE, DofE Manager for Kirklees based at Little Deer Wood Outdoor Centre in Mirfield, said: “It was a very poignant moment after all these years and a really memorable occasion for our young people to be there for the Duke’s last presentation ceremony.”
More than six million young people have taken part in the awards since they were founded in 1956 with around 2.7 million awards handed out. It has become the world’s leading youth achievement award with the Duke commenting that it has “helped countless young people on their, sometimes difficult, path to adulthood.”
Currently just over 6,000 young people are taking part in the DofE Award Scheme in Kirklees alone and at last week’s reception 350 Gold Award Holders from around the country were honoured at the reception at the Palace of Holyrood.
Prince Philip arrived to the sound of the Royal Marines Scotland Band and chatted with award winners and the guest presenters who handed out certificates in the palace gardens.
The success of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in Kirklees relies on the help of many volunteers.
Anyone wanting to get involved to help ensure that the award is offered to future generations can get in touch via the website www.kirkleesdofe.org .
The Kirklees DofE Award Trust, which helps to steer and support the scheme locally, is also looking to recruit new trustees who feel that they could contribute to its work.