Golden efforts reap in royal awards
PUBLISHED: 14:20 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:13 23 August 2010
THREE young women mixed with royalty when they were presented with their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards. Former Gravesend Grammar School students Emma Blackwell, 21, of Sole Street, Cobham, Alana O Kane of Headcorn and Kirsty Macdowell of Singlewell Road,
THREE young women mixed with royalty when they were presented with their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards.
Former Gravesend Grammar School students Emma Blackwell, 21, of Sole Street, Cobham, Alana O'Kane of Headcorn and Kirsty Macdowell of Singlewell Road, Gravesend, have all been given the prestigious award.
They visited St James' Palace in London last Wednesday to receive their certificates from Prince Phillip and explorer David Hempleton-Adams.
Miss Blackwell said: "It was really nice. I was surprised by the number of people that were there. People came from all over the country. There was an explorer there David Hempleton-Adams who presented the certificates who has climbed the highest mountains in all of the continents so that was great.
"They said at the presentation that only five per cent of people that start the gold finish it. I was quite shocked to hear that."
All three covered a wide range of activities in achieving their award with their residential sections spent helping at Stepney Children's Fund, the Asthma Society and the RSPA.
To complete the certificate they went on a five day expedition in the Brecon Beacons in South Wales and had received their gold brooches from Gravesham mayor Ken Jones at a ceremony held at Cobham Hall in September.
Miss Blackwell is currently studying for a Sports Science degree at Leeds University but says that the Duke of Edinburgh experience has not dampened her desire for adventure.
She said: "It wasn't hard because I enjoyed what I was doing but it did take up a lot of time and commitment. I had a really good group and we all got on really well so it was fun.
"I still want to trek up some mountains and I plan to go travelling in New Zealand, Fiji and South East Asia when I graduate."