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Edward Walsh Strikes Gold With a Special Invitation to Buckingham Palace

2016-07-01 09:43:12
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By Cdt FS Edward Walsh - 2460 (Pontefract) Squadron

On 16th May, Edward Walsh from 2460 (Pontefract) Squadron Air Cadets was one of 1,000 young people from across the UK invited to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) and attend a very special, once in a life time, Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace, London.

Edward received his Gold DofE Award from DofE celebrity supporter Colonel Chris Hadfield and had the opportunity to share his DofE experiences with Patron of the DofE Charity HRH The Duke of Edinburgh / Trustee of the DofE Charity

The DofE is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary throughout 2016, having supported millions of young people in the UK and across the globe to achieve DofE Awards since it was founded in 1956. The prestigious Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace is one of many memorable events taking place to celebrate 60 years of the Charity.

Members of the Royal Family; HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Earl of Wessex and HRH The Countess of Wessex, congratulated those that were present including young Gold Award achievers, organisations that deliver the DofE and special guests such as corporate supporters and DofE Diamond Challengers, who have set themselves a personal challenge to raise money for the DofE Charity in its anniversary year.

Edward attended Pontefract Air Cadets and achieved his Gold DofE Award there. Edward worked determinedly through five sections of his DofE programme for over a year to achieve his Gold Award. His diverse selection of activities included; working as an award leader, swimming and building scale models as well as taking part in a week-long residential at Patterdale Youth Hostel in the Lake District and a demanding expedition in the Yorkshire Dales 


Widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people between the ages of 14-24, the DofE develops vital skills for life and for work, such as confidence, commitment, resilience and team work.

Speaking about his experience of the DofE, and the excitement of being part of the Buckingham Palace event, Edward said: “The day was a brilliant experience and will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life.  Completing all three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award had been a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience!”

Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive of the DofE Charity said: “What these young Gold Award holders have achieved is extraordinary. For a significant period of time they have given back to their communities, broadened their interests and equipped themselves with the attributes and skills that will open doors to opportunity and enable them to make the most of their lives. Our Diamond Anniversary has provided a great Royal occasion to celebrate their accomplishments and we wish them every success for the future.”   

Currently, there are over 300,000 young people doing a DofE programme across the UK through a variety of centres including both state and independent schools, special schools, businesses, prisons, young offender institutions, housing associations and youth groups.

To celebrate its 60th year, the Charity has launched the DofE Diamond Challenge. This one-off initiative allows people of all ages to take on a DofE inspired challenge and earn their Diamond Pin. Signing up to The DofE Diamond Challenge has an amazing double benefit – whilst challenging yourself, pushing your boundaries, you’re also raising money for the DofE Charity so that it can transform the lives of more young people and offer free places and bursary grants to those most in need.  

Visit for more information about the DofE, and to find out how you can support the Charity in its Diamond Anniversary year, go to

For more information please visit the Squadron website

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