Two pupils from St Swithun’s School, Winchester attended a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 16 May to receive their gold Duke of Edinburgh award certificates. The girls joined more than 1000 young people at the event as part of this year’s 60th anniversary celebration of the DofE organisation. 60 celebrities assisted Prince Philip with handing out the awards and the girls were presented their certificates by Jennie Bond, former BBC royal correspondent.
Lydia Robinson, aged 18 from Alresford and Jess Fennell, aged 18 from Romsey, completed their gold expedition in the Breacon Beacons in July 2015.
The DofE awards were initiated in 1956 by the Duke of Edinburgh and as part of this year’s Diamond Anniversary Lydia and Jess took part in the DofE Diamond Challenge for which participants were asked to take on their own challenge and raise at least £60 for the DofE organisation. For their challenge Lydia and Jess competed in a 15km ‘Rough Runner’ obstacle course event at Bereleigh Estate near Petersfield.
Lydia said “The whole day at Buckingham Palace was amazing as the weather was great, the gardens were beautiful and I managed to speak to Prince Philip albeit briefly”. Jess said “Completing DofE gold was a huge challenge but incredibly rewarding and it was such a privilege to be invited to the palace, probably a once in a lifetime experience”.