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Student celebrates Duke of Edinburgh success at Buckingham Palace

A male stood in front of a gold Duke of Edinburgh award backdrop holding a GoldAwards24 sign.

A Liverpool Hope University student attended a special event in the Buckingham Palace Garden after completing the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) gold award.

Jack Smith, a final-year Geography and Education student, was one of 8,000 young people invited to the festival-inspired celebration, which saw the grounds of Buckingham Palace transformed with giant deckchairs, bunting, and garden games and activities.

Hosted by his Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, the event took place over several days to recognise the achievement of young people aged 14 - 24 who have completed their Gold DofE in schools, community organisations and youth groups across the country.

Those in attendance had the chance to hear from the Duke of Edinburgh, who gave an inspiring speech from the Palace’s West Terrace, before meeting famous DofE award holders, including British astronaut, Tim Peak, who was guest of honour.

Reflecting on the occasion, Jack said: “I had seen photos of past events online but I didn’t realise how good it would actually be to be there. It was an amazing day and I really enjoyed it.

“I am really proud [to have completed the gold award], but I almost wish there was more.

“I have done the Duke of Edinburgh assessors course, which means I am able to assess people doing their own expeditions and I am enjoying being able to use my experience to help other people.”

Jack, 21, completed the bronze and silver awards whilst in school and chose to come to Liverpool Hope as he knew the University provided the opportunity to achieve the gold award.

He completed a four-night expedition in Dartmoor as part of the process, and did voluntary garden maintenance at a residential home as well as working at a St John’s Ambulance summer camp.

“It’s a really good experience because you learn so much more than what you think you’re going to learn,” Jack added.

“There are the map skills and the theory side of things but even learning how to walk with other people and how to maintain morale [is valuable] and something people don’t really learn.”

Published on 20/05/2024