Three former Highfields students rubbed shoulders with royalty when they celebrated achieving the highest possible honour on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme at Buckingham Palace.
Maiya Bahra, Alisha Patel and Josh Slomka-Moore travelled to London for the presentation in the gardens of the palace.
They were presented with their DofE Gold Awards in the presence of Sophie, Countess of Wessex, as part of the special ceremony.
The guest speaker on the day was entrepreneur, Holly Tucker MBE, the founder of notonthehighstreet.com.
Mr C Moody, who runs Highfields’ DofE programme and attended the star-studded ceremony, said: “Their presentation was held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace with over 1,000 young people from different areas of the country.
“The DofE programme has been a journey which has taken them from Year 10 all the way through to their first year at University.
“All three have taken part in some incredible activities such as their assessed expedition in the Lake District and residential volunteering at the Talyllyn Railway in North Wales.
“When the presentation had finished they were allowed then to leave via the main gate at Buckingham Palace which they and their parents were overwhelmed by.
“To reach the Gold Award standard in the DofE programme is an incredible achievement and this was a wonderful celebration.
“It is a day that we will remember for the rest of our lives and fitting that our students were honoured in such incredible surroundings for their achievements on the programme.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme was launched in 1956 with the aim of inspiring, guiding and supporting young people in their self-development. The awards scheme challenges students and allows them to discover the world around them whilst providing them with invaluable skills and experiences to improve employment prospects.
Hundreds of Highfields students have taken part in the DofE programme since the school started running the scheme around 12 years ago. Those taking part have taken on a number of challenges including volunteering in the community and a residential trip which involves them only being allowed to know one other person and therefore building a team to complete a project with strangers.