Buckingham Palace visit for '˜Golden Girl'

A young woman from the Louth area, who achieved the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh gold award, was invited to Buckingham Palace to receive her certificate last month.

May Ashton-Jones (18) in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
May Ashton-Jones (18) in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

May Ashton-Jones, 19, from Asterby, was one of the few people across the county who were invited to the Palace on Wednesday May 24, where she met the Countess of Wessex and was presented with her certificate by Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell.

May, who is currently studying Architecture at the University of Greenwich in London, enjoyed the ‘incredible’ occasion, which followed three years of hard work and dedication towards achieving her gold award.

May said: “It was fantastic being at Buckingham Palace. It’s such a prestigious place and it was incredible to be inside the grounds.

“It was a beautiful sunny day, and a fabulous day. Everyone who was there was proud of what they achieved.”

May began her first Duke of Edinburgh award when she was in Year 10 at Lincoln Minster School, and by last summer she had worked her way through bronze, silver and the coveted gold award.

To attain the award, May had to demonstrate her abilities in five key areas: skills, sports, volunteering, residential, and expedition.

In the skills section May took up knitting and painting, while in the sports section she took up running - and she continues to be a member of Louth Athletic Club today.

May’s volunteering work included helping out at Horncastle Library, and later helping to support newcomers to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

May attended a cooking school in Yorkshire for the residential section, and for the expedition she spent four days in the Peak District last summer, walking around 25 kilometres each day and camping out in the wild.

May said: “I would definitely recommend the Duke of Edinburgh Award, 100 per cent.

“It makes you make time for activities that you otherwise might not do, and you can incorporate whatever you want to into the award.”

• Visit www.dofe.org to find out more and get involved.