24 May

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Our Duke of Edinburgh’s Centre Manager, Gavin Taylor, had an exciting expedition of a different kind altogether last week (with not a rucksack or sleeping bag to be seen!) Please read his report of the special day…..

“On Monday 16th May I was privileged to represent the school having received an invitation to the 60th Anniversary Celebration of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Buckingham Palace.
Gavin and Ben Cohen2

In the presence of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, HRH the Earl of Wessex, HRH Countess of Wessex, New Bridge were to receive a plaque. The plaque was in recognition of our excellent work, creating quality opportunities and experiences for our young people. This was a grand occasion for suits and shiny shoes, not my usual shorts and walking boots!

palace invite

Others in attendance were several young people who had received an invitation to receive their Gold Award certificates. In our group, the certificates and plaques were presented by Ben Cohen, a famous England rugby player. Some of us also had the opportunity to talk to HRH Countess of Wessex as she passed amongst our group.

It was fabulous for me to be amongst many others who are, like New Bridge, totally committed to such a special award scheme (the picture below shows the Centre Managers and Leaders from across Oldham as we waited to enter the Palace grounds). I enjoyed the experience immensely and as our young people complete their Gold Awards, they too will get the Palace invitation and the chance to access that fantastic experience.”

DofE 16th May Oldham Group photo

As Gavin says, this time next year our first ever group of young people will be receiving their own invitations to Buckingham Palace. They are already very excited about travelling down to London to be presented with their Gold Awards and we can’t wait either!! It will be a wonderful way to mark their incredible achievements – we are so proud of how they have coped with all the challenges so far and how hard they have worked. Watch this space for details of their final qualifying expedition this summer, let’s hope the weather is kind to them….

(you can catch up on news of our practice expeditions here)