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Long Service Awards for DofE staff presented at St James Palace.

For many of our students over the past 40+ years who have gone above and beyond to complete all five sections of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award a visit to the palace to receive their award is the pinnacle of their achievements. However without the countless hours our volunteers dedicate to organising, coordinating and facilitating the award these students would not have the opportunity in the first place. Over 40 years ago Ed Hopkins alongside a number of other staff started to run the award program at Sir Robert Pattinson Academy starting out with the Bronze level and then growing to offer the Silver and Gold level, over the years thanks to Ed and his colleagues hours of commitment the award has continued to grow allowing countless numbers of young people to achieve the varied levels of the award many visiting the palace as recognition. Over 20 years ago Steve Pearson also became involved and took over coordinating the program continuing its success and encouraging the likes of me to use my skills to support the award. Ed and Steve continued to support the award up until a couple of years ago and have not only been an inspiration to the vast young people they have mentored but also to the likes of me and many others staff who still continue to give their spare time to support the award therefore it only seemed fitting to nominate them for long service awards.

Now it was their chance to feel the excitement and sense of achievement at St James Palace like so many of the young people they have helped to inspire, donning their best suits and having a guided tour around the palace as a VIP’s was just the start, they then went on to have their awards presented in the Thorne room before speaking to Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex and enjoying the ceremony and presentation of Gold awards to a large number of young people from Lincolnshire. I had the privilege of being invited to be a Marshal for the Thorne room where I helped in organising the young people, reading out the names of the award receivers alongside also receiving a long service award myself, needless to say I still have a large number of years to go to beat the astounding commitments of both Steve and Ed. It was a very special day for all three of us having spent many weekends and school holidays camping in the rain together and helping train the students long into the evenings after school it was lovely to dress up and be back together as a proud team, after a lovely morning at the palace we even managed to fit in one of our favourite past times, coffee and cake.

I would like to take this opportunity of behalf of all the students and staff that have had the privilege of working with Ed and Steve on DofE to offer a huge thank you for all their commitment, hard work and sacrifices they have made to ensure we have all grown and developed. You are both an inspiration and we thank you.

Miss Earnshaw

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