Royal recognition for Sleaford schools’ ‘D of E’ team

Twenty former students from Sleaford schools were invited to receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards at a special presentation held in Buckingham Palace gardens.

Duke of Edinburgh Award students at the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Concert, from left - Agatha, Mabel, Jenny, Ryan, Ionia and Raluca.
Duke of Edinburgh Award students at the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Concert, from left - Agatha, Mabel, Jenny, Ryan, Ionia and Raluca.

Some of the students from Carre’s Grammar School and Kesteven and Sleaford High School were unable to attend and will be invited to another ceremony in the future.

Robert Carre Trust DofE award co-ordinator Melita Walker attended with the group and said: “It was fabulous to hear how they are getting on either at university or in their jobs. They had to wait for this opportunity to receive their award due to Covid-19 halting all Gold Award presentations through 2020 and 2021.”

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Prince Edward spoke alongside Johannes from Strictly Come Dancing, an inspirational young disabled student and TV presenter Ben Fogle.

Former student Jenny with Duke of Edinburgh Award co-ordinator Mel Walker at Buckingham Palace.

The team of volunteers that run the award scheme at the two schools were nominated by a member of the community for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, for their efforts to keep students engaged throughout the pandemic.

The nomination for the highest accolade given to voluntary groups was unsuccessful, but Mrs Walker said: “I am indebted to the team of around 30 volunteers who give up their spare time to support this fantastic award which for so many through Covid kept them positive.”

Finally, the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Toby Dennis, gave two tickets each to four worthy young students from the Robert Carre Trust, chosen by Mrs Walker to go to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, for their efforts to support DofE and the community during the pandemic.

These were Raluca, an “invaluable” DofE Prefect who assisted Mrs Walker with administrative work while she underwent neck surgery. Matt - Head Boy at Carres Grammar School, volunteered his time to support pop-up Covid vaccination centres. Mabel, a past student and Head Girl from KSHS, was recovering from ankle surgery but volunteered to assist in a DofE kit audit through the summer; and Jenny, a former student and DofE prefect from KSHS, became the team’s youngest DofE supervisor.

Mabel said: "We all want to say a huge thank you to the Lord Lieutenant and RCT DofE Coordinator.”