Kelsall duo’s award success

Rachel Sirett and Justine Whitfield have received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

The duo, who completed the award through Kelsall Youth Club, attended the presentation at St James’s Palace, London, where they received the honour from the Earl of Wessex.

Prince Edward congratulated Rachel and Justine on their successes and heard about their individual DoE journeys over the last 18 months of hard work and dedication.

Those who achieve a Gold DoE Award will volunteer, learn a skill, get fit, take part in a week long residential and plan and undertake an expedition in wild country. Widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people, DoE programmes enable any person, aged 14-24, to develop key skills for life and work, such as confidence, commitment and team working.

Kelsall Youth Club/ DoE centre leader Pete Moore, said: “Rachel and Justine were part of a team of 4 completing Gold this year from the Kelsall Group. Together they pretty much had to organise every part of their individual and group achievements themselves giving them real and significant responsibility. They truly earned this award and we look forward to their fellow participants Alice Smith and Tom Critchley visiting the Palace soon to collect their Gold Awards too.”

Speaking about her DoE experience and Gold Award, Rachel Sirett said: “The whole DoE experience has been very challenging but great fun too. Working with friends on the expedition was probably the most memorable part and really feeling a sense of achievement together as a team. Helping to teach young children to enjoy dance as my volunteering section was also very rewarding and something I certainly will look to continue.”

There are currently over 300,000 young people taking part in a DoE programme across the UK through a variety of centres including both state and independent schools, special schools, businesses, prisons, young offender institutions and youth groups.

Rachel Sirett and Justine Whitfield at St. James’ Palace.