Royal Appointment

Royal Appointment

Two outgoing brothers have been commended at Buckingham Palace for achieving the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. 

Adam and Josh Hodgkinson said the day was ‘incredible’ and made even better because they collected their awards together and were able to invite both of their parents.

On a hot, sunny day in the palace gardens the Hodgkinson family soaked up the atmosphere in the presence of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and THR The Earl and Countess of Wessex while the national anthem was played.

It was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from the brothers who completed their bronze, silver and gold awards at Tupton Hall School under the guidance of Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator Ian Parfitt.

Their mum Lynda Hodgkinson said: “We were absolutely bursting with pride to see both boys achieve their awards. It made the early mornings to take them to their expedition meeting points and the washing they brought back with them so worthwhile.”

She added that Adam had various health issues, so it had been ‘fantastic’ that the boys were able to complete their awards together and support each other along the way.

Mr Parfitt said Adam and Josh had shown care for one another, and for other people, throughout their Duke of Edinburgh journey - volunteering with the elderly and being good team players. As part of their gold award they enjoyed learning a variety of physical activities as well as creative skills including swimming, rock climbing, guitar, piano and even goat keeping.

Mr Parfitt added: “Adam and Josh were both always very cheerful and easy to get on with. It’s been great to see them mature from Bronze level when they were new to expeditions, through to Gold when they endured four tough days hiking and camping in the mountains of Snowdonia.”

Nearly 1,500 young people collected their Gold Award certificates at Buckingham Palace on the same day as the Hodgkinsons. Adam and Josh were handed their certificates by TV journalist and presenter Alice Beer who spoke to them about her Gold Award experiences 30 years ago. Another incredibly proud moment was when the HRH Sophie, the Countess of Wessex stopped for a chat about their bronze, silver and gold triple achievement.

Afterwards, Josh, 19, said he would do the whole Duke of Edinburgh programme all over again. “It was a great team building opportunity. The Gold was the best of all. I’d love to be presenting those Gold awards at the palace in 30 years’ time!”

Adam, 20, commented: “I got a great sense of achievement and it has taught me so much about independent thinking, planning and goal setting, as well as opening up so many opportunities.

The boys spent a year volunteering with the Derbyshire Countryside Rangers as part of the award. They also both achieved the National Citizen Service Award while working toward their D of E Gold Awards.

Adam has just completed his second year studying Geology at Plymouth University. Josh is coming to the end of a two year Advanced Diploma in Animal Management at Derby College. He hopes to study Zoology and Conservation at Bangor University from September.

Find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh's Award HERE

CLICK HERE to visit Tupton Hall School's Duke of Edinburgh Facebook Page.