Former pupils Gabriella Watkins and William Sheard, Headmaster Mr Andrew Chicken and Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) Co-ordinator Mr Steve Pownall were invited to Buckingham Palace for a special event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
More than a 1,000 young people attended the Palace for the biggest ever gathering of D of E Gold Award winners. Prince Philip, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex presented the awards and Gabriella and William, who worked towards their Gold Awards whilst still at school, both received their certificates.
Mr Chicken said: “It was an enjoyable celebration of the award’s success in inspiring generations of young people to set themselves challenging goals and develop the independence and skills required to meet them.”
Stockport Grammar currently has 298 enrolments across all levels for the D of E Award. The school is a licensed organisation for the award and Mr Chicken and Mr Pownall were presented with a special plaque by Ms Roz Savage MBE; in return they had been invited to present the school’s crest for display. Ms Savage holds four world records for ocean rowing, including first woman to row three oceans.
Gabriella encouraged anyone interested in the awards to take the plunge: “I would urge anyone to take part in Gold Duke of Edinburgh to improve time management, mental stamina and to make some great memories in the process.”
For William the D of E and celebration were something not to forget: “The Duke of Edinburgh was a key part of my upper school experience. To be invited to Buckingham Palace to receive my award was truly special.”
The Gold Award follows on from the Bronze and Silver Awards and takes a minimum of 12 months to complete. It is comprised of a series of sections – volunteering, physical, skills, expedition and residential – all designed to be challenging and enjoyable. Amongst the Stockport Grammar D of E adventures this summer, four Lower Sixth pupils will be kayaking about 80 km along the coast of the Llŷn Peninsula for their qualifying Gold expedition.