Ex-Vandyke Upper School pupil gets gold award

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A teenager who helped with the 1st Leighton Buzzard Cub Group as part of his Duke of Edinburgh challenge, has been presented with his gold award.

Kieran Hawkes, 19, who did his bronze, silver and gold awards through Vandyke Upper School, attended a presentation at St James’s Palace, London, on January 17 where he received his gold Duke of Edinburgh Award from celebrity presenter, Nick Hewer of Countdown and The Apprentice, after sharing his experience with the Earl of Wessex.

During the presentation, the earl congratulated all the award winners on their successes and heard about their DofE journeys, which took each young person 12-18 months of hard work and dedication to complete.

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.

Kieran chose to volunteer with the 1st Leighton Buzzard Cub Group, learnt to drive for his skill, took up running, beginning with 5k park runs and ending by completing the Brighton Marathon in under five hours.

For his residential he completed a five-day course in watersports and went on wild country expeditions in Snowdonia and the Lake District.

There are currently more than 300,000 young people taking part in a DofE programme across the UK.

Go to www.DofE.org