On Wednesday 24th May 2017, six former Huddersfield New College students were invited to Buckingham Palace for their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award presentation. They were: Katie Lockwood, Bethany Halligan, Heather Crossley, Jodie Simpson-Pearce, Daisy Stout and Grace Evans. Each former students was accompanied to the presentation by one of their parents.

The Duke of Edinburgh himself led the presentation, his last as the patron of the Award. He was accompanied by Prince Edward and his wife Sophie. Prince Edward will be assuming the mantle of patron in the future.

Our former students formed part of the West Yorkshire Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award group and in this group met the Countess of Wessex, Sophie. She spoke to the group about their experience of doing the Gold Award and was particularly interested in Bethany’s account of her Gold residential experience in Japan.

The group also met Helen George who told them about her experience of doing the Bronze Award and how from this she learned a valuable life lesson: do not leave your hiking boots outside your tent in torrential rain! And make sure that if you do, you have a plentiful supply of plastic bags for your feet the next day! Helen was better known to the group as Trixie from Call the Midwife and as a star of Strictly.

The visit ended with a group photo, a proud momento of a very special day at the Palace.