Two of our Sixth Form students had a pre-exam treat last month when they were guests at Buckingham Palace to collect their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Lily Carson and Sarah Burton both worked for three years with Youlgrave Duke of Edinburgh Group to complete the gruelling set of requirements to achieve first their Bronze Award, followed by the Silver and lastly the Gold Award. Each award requires a series of sections to be completed: volunteering, physical, skills and an expedition. At Gold Award level there is an additional residential section. In order to complete all of the sections necessary for her Gold Award, Sarah developed her dressmaking skills, volunteered for Cancer Research and became an active member of a local gym. She spent her residential on a narrow boat in London where she gained her Community Boat Leadership Award, which was a highlight of the whole experience for Sarah. Lily took up needlework, developed her horse-riding and volunteered with her local Brownie group, gaining her Adult Girl Guiding Leadership qualification along the way. For the residential element of her award, Lily spent a week sailing in Plymouth, gaining her RYA competent crew award in the process. Both Lily and Sarah explored the Lake District for four days and three nights – one of which was spent wild camping – for their expedition. This is a tremendous achievement and has required much work and determination. Both Lily and Sarah have gained qualifications and so much more along the way, whilst keeping on top of their school work too! Many congratulations to you both – we are very proud of you.