Rydal Penrhos Community
Nick gives account of Gold Award DofE ceremony at Buckingham Palace

Nick gives account of Gold Award DofE ceremony at Buckingham Palace

On such a glorious day, with over 3,000 young people being recognised for their Gold award, it was a fantastic day.

I attended the afternoon ceremony and had Matt Johnson as my guest presenter, a TV personality, he was originally from wales and therefore he was our celebrity guest presenter as I was in the Welsh DofE group.

He has been on This Morning, starred in an episode of Gavin and Stacey and has awards including:

In 2010, Johnson was voted Wales' Sexiest Man and was in the top 50 most in-demand charity ambassadors in the world

However, notably, Steven Mulhern, who presents BGT extra, he interrupted our guest presenter (as they were friends). Other notable celebrity presenters present for the event included John Torode (Masterchef), Peter Andre, Larry Lamb, Judge Rinder and many others.

The day consisted of taking loads of photos, wandering the palace grounds, a short talk from the guest presenter, where matt spoke about how hard DofE is, how he has achieved the diamond award for those over 25.

He spoke about his mental health struggle and hoe doing the DofE is important to building up strength against mental challenges. A short Q&A followed by Matt awarding the gold Dofe certificates.

After first arriving I was approached by Major David Love, the Army`s Duke of Edinburgh champion, we discussed how fantastic the Army cadets are for providing the DofE and how the ability to complete my skill, volunteering and residential was all due to the army cadets. He was one of the guest presenters for a separate group.

During the afternoon, HRH Princess Eugenie of York joined the group and spoke to a few members of my group, at the end she asked an open question for any funny stories about our DofE experiences.

I took the opportunity and recalled one of the Chinese girl`s in my group having her rucksack attached by a wild horse and ripped apart in search for the Chinese snacks in there that were brought over from China.

HRH then went on to ask about my connection with the Army Cadets, being the only one in my group in uniform. HRH was very impressed with everyone’s achievement in the group and mentioned how she thought the award was just so difficult to achieve.

The entire day was a fantastic experience and will stay with me for a long time. I just hope it didn’t affect my Economics A level exam I had the next morning back at school in Colwyn Bay.

I would like to thank Dr Lewis for everything he has done for him in helping me throughout the whole DofE programme at Rydal Penrhos.

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