An incredible total of 32 Felsted pupils past and present have achieved their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards this year, with 17 receiving an invitation to collect their awards from Buckingham Palace in May, presented by HRH Duke of Wessex.
Before the awards ceremony, the students heard from Simon Gillespie, CEO of the British Heart Foundation who spoke about his journey through the Navy into government, and then the charity sector. They then had a quick lesson in royal protocol, before the chance to meet and talk with HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Wessex. He asked them about their volunteering and took a great interest in the Felsted trip to Mumbai, with the Magic Bus charity, founded by former Felstedian, Matthew Spacie.
Felsted School has one of the most active school DofE groups in the country, with participating numbers so high that we have our own DofE Operating Authority, ensuring that all Felstedians gain the full benefits of the opportunities provided by this scheme. This year, Felsted students contributed an incredible 2652 volunteering hours supporting a range of local, national and international projects, including trips to Felsted’s partner charities Magic Bus Mumbai, Teach Uganda and Sparkle Malawi. Many also support the local community, volunteering in charity shops or helping the homeless at the Felsted Mission Night Shelter in London.
Headmaster of Felsted, Chris Townsend comments; “I am delighted to be able to celebrate these awards, which reflect a great deal of hard work from all the young people. The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award is a very highly respected award among universities and employers, it is a challenge to achieve, and a mark of real character and leadership.”
Current Felsted A Level student, Harry Raffan comments; “It was fantastic to be in such a beautiful setting, within touching distance of royalty and with a large group of Felstedians. Although the surroundings were a lot more civilised than our expeditions, we relished the opportunity to look back on the highs and lows of the various expeditions we had completed together.”
Current Felsted IB student, Jessica Mitchell comments; I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, it was a brilliant day and worth all the effort of competing the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award. It was very interesting hearing HRH Duke of Wessex and CEO of BHF, Simon Gillsepie talk about the importance of Duke of Edinburgh and having the opportunity to affect change within the community.”