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Young people strike gold

PUBLISHED: 15:39 21 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:03 07 July 2010

Ian Clarke

They have undertaken challenges from volunteer work in Ecuador to learning to scuba dive.

And 31 young people - aged 16-25 - from Norfolk will be in London on Wednesday to receive the Duke of Edinburgh scheme's highest accolade, the gold award.

They have undertaken challenges from volunteer work in Ecuador to learning to scuba dive.

And 31 young people - aged 16-25 - from Norfolk will be in London on Wednesday to receive the Duke of Edinburgh scheme's highest accolade, the gold award.

The majority are from Downham Market Sixth Form, Fakenham College and Wayland High School and they will all attend the ceremony at St James' Palace and be presented with their gold awards by the scheme's patron, HRH Prince Philip.

To get the gold award, young people must successfully complete five different disciplines over a period of 18 months - the categories consist of: volunteering, skills, physical, expedition and residential.

Two teachers from Wayland High School, Julie Fieldhouse and Yvonne Ayden, will attend the awards ceremony as VIP guests in recognition of the many years they have been running the Duke of Edinburgh's Award programmes at the school.

Joanna Hogarth, the county council's Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition co-ordinator, will also attend.

The Norfolk group will also meet celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson and BBC Breakfast news presenter Bill Turnbull.

Shelagh Hutson, Cabinet Member for Children's Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a challenging and rewarding scheme that the county council is very pleased to support. It allows young people to try new things, learn more about themselves and work together for their own benefit and that of their local communities. These 31 young people should be very proud of their achievements and will I'm sure have grown in confidence and learnt skills that they will be able to take with them and use throughout their lives.”

Daniel Walker, 19 and a former Wayland High School student, took up rugby coaching, supported the leaders on a bronze level expedition and camped in the Lake District as part of his gold award programme.

He said: “I'm still carrying on with coaching junior rugby, even though I have finished my award. We had a very memorable expedition, particularly when we were wild camping and cooking opposite Helvellyn and there were clouds below us.”

The gold award recipients are: Downham Market Sixth Form - Sophie Wiseman, Victoria Bartrum, Ella Dunthorne, Louise Waring, Kelly Simmonds, Alice Broughton, Susannah Dent, Sophie Howell, Edward Fletcher, Joseph Heavey, Ashley Ambrose. Wayland Community High School at Watton - Hannah Bowman, Emily Creed, Lauren Healy, Kimberley Ashby, Jessica Raine, Daniel Sellers, Spencer Snowling, Lewis Wilkins, Daniel Adcock, James Walker, Daniel Walker. Fakenham College - David Girling, Michael Creed, Jonathan Lynn. Others - Victoria Simonds (East Norfolk Sixth Form), James Taylor (Methwold High School), William Pook (UEA), Sophie Tomlin (independent), William Jenner (independent), Kelvin Hall (independent).

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