Burnley College students receive Duke of Edinburgh awards at Buckingham Palace

Some of the former students with their rewards
Some of the former students with their rewards

Outstanding former students from Burnley College Sixth Form Centre headed to Buckingham Palace to receive their prestigious Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

The students, who displayed physical and emotional strength, commitment and determination to reach the pinnacle of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, travelled to London with proud members of their families to receive their awards from Prince Edward and enjoy a reception attended by MasterChef’s John Torode.

Amy Stokes and Conor Miller with John Torode

Amy Stokes and Conor Miller with John Torode

Tutor Heather McEvoy, who led the Duke of Edinburgh programme, said: “As a college family, we’re so proud of our 11 Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award winners: they’re an inspiration to us all and show just what can be achieved through perseverance and dedication.

“Over the course of the last year, they have all really pushed themselves in a variety of different spheres – volunteering, physical activity, learning new skills, residential stays and expedition to become valuable members of society with extra-curricular achievements which make them stand head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to interviews for university places or successful careers.”

All students were involved in volunteering projects, with some working in charity shops and others raising vital funds for the college’s chosen charity, Oliver’s Neuroblastoma Appeal, funding pioneering treatment for a young boy battling an aggressive form of cancer. They also took part in weekly fitness sessions, playing sport or visiting the gym, and attended drill sessions.

For the residential aspect of their award programme, most students completed a teamwork and leadership course at Altcar Army Barracks and others were involved in the National Citizenship Scheme.

The final expeditions saw them head to the Yorkshire Dales for a two-night stay in preparation for their assessment expedition where they spent four nights on the Pennine moors, working in small groups to navigate their way across the difficult terrain in challenging weather conditions and make camp.

Burnley College sixth Form Centre Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award winners who studied Advanced Level Public Services were Benjamin Eastwood, Alicia McGoogan, Mitchell Harvey, Kieran Heyworth, Hamza Mahmood, Conor Miller, Amy Stokes, Leon Stubbs, Kamran Ummar and William Young.

Many are currently pursuing their dreams of a career in the police service through degree-level study.

In addition, Christopher Cragg also successfully earned his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award:

Principal Karen Buchanan said: “Burnley College Sixth Form Centre students are renowned for their determination and motivation to be the very best and these Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award recipients show just what can be achieved when you set your mind to something."