GUTSY students from Old Swinford Hospital enjoyed a trip to Buckingham Palace where they received their gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards in the presence of Royalty.

Rose Parr, Cameron Brown, Amy Waters, Taryn Wilkes were presented with their awards last month by celebrity presenter, Konnie Huq, in the presence of HRH The Earl of Wessex.

A total of 13 young people from the school completed their gold awards in 2018/2019.

The students had to volunteer, learn a skill, get fit, take part in a week-long residential and plan and undertake an expedition in order to achieve the accolade.

Andrew Coalter, Duke of Edinburgh manager at the Heath Lane school, said: “DofE enables our students to develop teamwork, resilience and the leadership skills required for the increasingly competitive world in which they live.

"Our co-curriculum programme at OSH, which includes DofE, is one of the school’s many strengths.

"The range and breadth of activities available in a supportive environment allows our students to try new things and explore their wider interests.”

The school is a licensed centre for DofE and has seen participation rise in all three levels of the award over the past two years from 49 in 2017 to 74 in 2019.

Students in year nine start with bronze, then progress to silver in year 10, with gold for students in the sixth form.