A farmer’s daughter from Hose recently attended a presentation at St James’s Palace, London, to receive her gold Duke of Edinburgh award (DofE) in the presence of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
During the gold DofE award ceremony in the Throne Room, HRH congratulated Emily Parker,19, on her success and heard about her individual DofE journey of hard work and dedication.
Former Formula One and current Moto GP presenter Suzi Perry also joined in the celebrations and presented Emily with her award.
Those who achieve a gold DofE award will volunteer, learn a skill, get fit, take part in a week-long residential and plan and undertake an expedition. Widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people, DofE programmes enable any person, aged 14-24, to develop key skills for life and work, such as confidence, commitment and team working.
The teenager who is currently studying biomedical science at Durham University achieved her gold DofE award by helping to restore canals with charity Water Ways in the Cotswolds. This meant living in a village hall, with about 30 other people and sleeping on the floor after a hard day’s physical graft.
Speaking about her DofE experience, Emily said: “The expeditions were some of the hardest physical challenges I have ever faced; youngsters have to be entirely self sufficient, walking on hilly terrain for around eight hours a day, whilst carrying a rucksack of around 14kg.
“I really did feel tempted at times to give up, go home and have a hot bath! But having resisted those temptations has finally made achieving the award so much more satisfying.
“Access to St James’s Palace is by invitation only, so it was a tremendous privilege to be there.”