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Gold Standard! Our Service's students presented with top Duke of Edinburgh Award

Five young people are celebrating this week after being presented with the ultimate Duke of Edinburgh Award at St. James’ Palace.


Amy Gair, Katie Rolfe, Emma Rolfe, Rebecca Draper and David Hopkinson received Gold Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) Gap Awards on Tuesday evening, following five years of hard work in and alongside their communities as part of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s D of E programme.


The group, who are the first ever to achieve Gold Awards at ECFRS, were greeted by His Royal Highness Prince Edward at the Palace alongside more than 100 other young people.


Proud supporter of the D of E initiative and celebrity Andrea Maclean was also on hand to present the young people with their awards.


The award follows half a decade of volunteering, skill-based and physical work, along with an expedition designed to challenge young people and teach them value life-building skills.


During that period, the group have spent time in their communities assisting with our Home Safety Visits, representing ECFRS at events including Remembrance Sunday and being valuable parts of the arranging and hosting of our various Fire Station Open Days.


Firefighting skills, including hose running and being in charge of mock scenarios and incidents, also made up much of what the group have learnt; having now also become lecturers and mentors to younger participants who have recently joined the D of E programme.


Donna Finch MBE, Chief Fire Officers’ Association Duke of Edinburgh Manager, said: “Congratulations to all five Gold Award winners – you are a credit to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.


“Their achievements are further proof of how special the Duke of Edinburgh Award is and just what it can do to offer young people invaluable life experiences at a key point in their development.


“These winners deserve to be celebrated for their commitment to improving the lives of others, particularly vulnerable members of our community, and in turn becoming role models for their peers.”


The award winners were joined by Martin Hills and Karl Amoss, ECFRS’ Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinators, at the ceremony.


Martin Hills said: “All those involved are hugely proud to have been a part of this remarkable and rewarding Journey for our Cadets as they achieve their Gold Award.


“Over the last five years they have taken every challenge that has been thrown at them in their stride, having already achieved their Silver and Bronze Awards. In doing so, they have matured into responsible, hard-working and mature adults – they truly epitomise what the Duke of Edinburgh Award is about.”

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