The Guests of Royals

Mrs Wall and Dr McPartland at the gates to Buckingham Palace

Mrs Wall and Dr McPartland at the gates to Buckingham Palace

Mrs Wall and Dr McPartland have been to Buckingham Palace.

On Monday 16th May, a gloriously sunny afternoon, they were invited, as representatives of Urmston Grammar, to attend a prestigious ceremony at Buckingham Palace to honour both the Diamond Celebration (60 Years of DofE) and the success of the school in becoming its own licensed DofE organisation. The event was hosted by the Duke of Edinburgh and this was the biggest ever gathering of Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award winners and Licensed Organisations.

Prince Philip and the Earl and Countess of Wessex visited each of the groups to celebrate the success of the Gold Award winners. They had enlisted the help of around 60 celebrities including Anna Friel, Ben Cohen, Ronan Keating and Anton du Beke to present awards to over 1000 young people and plaques to over 300 Licensed Organisation.

During the proceedings Dr McPartland and Mrs Wall took part in an exchange of gifts ceremony which marked the shared commitment of both the school and charity towards DofE. The school was presented with a DofE plaque by Roz Savage which acknowledges the school’s outstanding work supporting young people’s self-development.

With Roz Savage

With Roz Savage

Roz Savage then shared her personal story with the group: she was National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2010; and she holds four Guinness World Records for ocean rowing – her feats include being the first woman to row solo across three oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian.

DofE is an important enrichment activity at Urmston Grammar which has flourished thanks to the commitment of the many volunteer staff and the resilience of our students; a special thanks has to go to Dr Howe and Dr McPartland who co-ordinate all the bronze and silver expeditions.

The Award started in 1956 to bridge the gap between boys leaving school and entering National Service, and since then has grown into the world’s leading youth achievement award.

This year, people who are older than the age limit of 24 are being encouraged to tackle a DofE-style Diamond challenge to raise money for the scheme. More details are available at www.dofediamondchallenge.org

Duke of Edinburgh speaks with Ronan Keating

Duke of Edinburgh speaks with Ronan Keating

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