Duke of Edinburgh Award of Merton celebrates Gold DofE success with its young people at St James’s Palace

On Monday 19 March 2018, nine young people from Merton attended a presentation, shared their experiences and received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) at St. James’s Palace, London from HRH The Earl of Wessex, HRH Prince Edward.


Pictured: Jessica Cooke (from Ursuline High School), Roxanne El-Hady (from Ricards/Rutlish RR6) and Sam West from Wimbledon College pictured at St James’ Palace receiving their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

During the Gold Award Presentation, HRH Prince Edward took the opportunity to congratulate the group from the borough on their successes and heard about their DofE journeys, which took each young person 12-18 months of hard work and dedication.

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 in wild country. Widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people, DofE programmes enable any young person, aged 14-24, to develop key skills for life and work, such as confidence, commitment and team working.

The students who received the prestigious Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards were:-

Samuel West from Wimbledon College

Roxanne El-Hady, Hannah Masraf, Jessica Cooke and from Ricards Rutlish 6th Form (RR6)

Aoife Clark and from Wimbledon High School

Tobin Chapman, Benjamin Littlewood, and Marcus Walford and Benjamin Ziegler from Kings College School

Other Merton recipients who have earned their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award but will be collecting them at a later date were Amy Bliss, Poppy Bradshaw, Jessie Whichelow and Zeshan Rashid from Ricards Rutlish 6th Form (RR6); Eleanor Haynes from Wimbledon High School and Joshua Mayne and Edward Benz from Kings College School.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award recipients gained their Gold Award for volunteering as mentors, being cadet leaders, helping in hospitals and charity shops and for sports leadership in activities such as karate, swimming, running, gym, basketball, cycling and hockey. They also learnt skills such as singing, guitar, mechanical skills, baking, learning to drive, marksmanship, website design and undertook expeditions to Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons and Cumbria/Lake District. The recipients also undertook wide-ranging residential trips with a Mongolian tribe, an Earth Skills Project, helping to run a holiday project in South Africa, a Science Exhibit Project in Brussels and took part in the National Citizenship Scheme (NCS).

Merton Council’s Acting Director of Children, Schools and Families, Jane McSherry said: “The tremendous accomplishments Merton’s young people have achieved has been celebrated through their obtaining the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. To receive this award shows true commitment and resolve. The skills and achievements developed by all of the young people receiving this award will not only benefit them in the future but has also had a positive impact on society and their local community. We congratulate them for their perseverance and achievements which they have undertaken whilst also maintaining their academic studies.”

Almost 800 young people in Merton have enrolled at bronze, silver and gold over the last 12 months. There are currently over 300,000 young people taking part in a DofE 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. A survey of major employers, commissioned by the United Learning Trust, found that a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the most highly valued experience when selecting young people as employees. There are more than one million young people currently participating globally in over 140 countries and territories.

To find out more about the DofE and how it enables young people to succeed, please visit www.DofE.org