The dedicated group had to learn multiple new skills, engage in community or charity volunteer work, demonstrate physical skill and take part in an expedition among other tasks to earn the coveted award.
The group spent time in the grounds of Buckingham Palace before being presented with their awards by Prince Edward and special guests, actors James and Oliver Phelps, Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter films.
The ceremony, usually held annually, was due to take place in 2020, but national pandemic restrictions meant it had to be postponed.
Andrew Trickett was one of the 12 who travelled down to London – he achieved a triple distinction in Advanced Level Public Services at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre.
Andrew, now 22 and currently reading Geography and Politics at the University of Manchester says it’s been worth the wait since completing the award:
“When we first got the invites only to have the event postponed it was frustrating. We really wanted to celebrate the effort we’d all put in – but it was really worth the wait.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded in 1956 and now takes place in various forms in more than 140 countries world-wide. It’s a highly respected award which is often seen on the most ambitious and driven students’ CVs.
One of the core components is volunteer work at which Andrew is already very experienced:
“I’ve always been passionate about giving something back to Pendleside Hospice after my Grandma passed there.
“Last year I completed a cycling challenge in Blackpool to raise money – and I’ve raised more than £3000 in total.”
He’s always had a love of the Public Services and has been an Army Cadet since the age of 14. He says the scheme has done so much more than boost his employment prospects.
He was also keen to let everyone know just how important their Duke of Edinburgh manager Heather McEvoy was to the entire process.
“Lastly, I wanted to thank Heather on behalf of myself and all the previous students who have completed the Gold Duke of Edinburgh. The hard work and sacrifices she makes are amazing.”
Alongside Andrew celebrating success in London were:
Luke Ireson (20) from Rossendale, a former pupil at Alder Grange School
Jamie Capstick (21) from Burnley, a former pupil at Unity College
Nathan Redfearn (20) from Accrington, a former pupil at The Hollins
Ryan Jones (21) from Bacup, a former pupil at The Valley Leadership Academy
Zoe Tate (22) from Accrington, a former pupil at St Christopher’s C of E High School Academy
Sadie Slater (20) from Burnley, a former pupil at Blessed Trinity College
Tia Roberts (21) from Blackburn, a former pupil at Saint Augustine’s RC Catholic High School
Maurice Chance-Gordon (21) from Burnley, a former pupil at Blessed Trinity College
Tia-Jasmine Brown (21) from Great Harwood, a former pupil at Blessed Trinity College
Abdul Mooez Cheema (210 from Brierfield, a former pupil at Marsden Heights Community College
Kai Haworth (21) from Darwen, a former pupil at Blessed Trinity College.