As part of the diamond anniversary celebrations for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, six young people from the county were among 1,000 to be invited to Buckingham Palace to receive their prestigious gold awards.
Their presentation was made by DofE celebrity supporter Alistair McGowan and the young achievers were congratulated by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and The Earl and Countess of Wessex.
East Sussex County Council, which has been running the DofE in the county for more than 40 years, was also presented with a special plaque acknowledging the authority’s commitment to the programme.
Louise Carter, children’s services assistant director, said it was “an honour” to be invited to the palace to receive the commemorative plaque on behalf of the county council.
She said: “We were delighted that the work and commitment of the county council has been recognised. Over the 40 years thousands of young people have achieved a DofE award after volunteering in their community, learning a skill, getting fit and going on expeditions.
“Our young people are encouraged to push themselves outside of their comfort zones when doing their DofE and the skills that they develop can be life-changing, so for us to be involved is something very special.
“We were delighted to see six gold award holders from our centres receive their gold DofE award at the palace on the same day and wish many more young people success in their endeavours at bronze, silver and gold levels.”
Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive of the DofE Charity said the achievements of the gold award holders were “extraordinary”.
He added: “For a significant period of time they have given back to their communities, broadened their interests and equipped themselves with the attributes and skills that will open doors to opportunities and enable them to make the most of their lives.
“Our diamond anniversary has provided a great royal occasion to celebrate their accomplishments and we wish them every success in the future.”
There are currently more than 300,000 young people doing a DofE programme across the UK through a variety of centres including both state and independent schools, special schools, businesses, prisons, young offender institutions, housing associations and youth groups.
For more information about the DofE click here.