A fresh cohort of Blackpool teenagers have completed the prestigious Duke Of Edinburgh award.
More than 160 people have achieved the award, including 26 who earned the gold level award meaning they were invited to receive their honours officially from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, at St James Palace in London.
All were celebrated at a local ceremony too, held at Blackpool Sixth Form College.
Chloe Lavin, 18 from Bispham, completed her Gold Award this year. She said: “I started my Duke of Edinburgh Award because it sounded like an interesting thing to do with great opportunities.
“At times it seemed hard but in the end my efforts and commitment were worth it, especially the day my invitation arrived to go to the Palace and receive my Gold Award from the Duke of Edinburgh himself.”
Blackpool Council, which manages the award locally, offers support and training to 10 different groups across the town.
The groups, including schools, colleges and youth groups, offer opportunities for young people to complete the four sections needed in order to achieve the award.
These require individuals to complete a physical, skill based and volunteering aspects before embarking on an expedition.
For those who are working towards their gold Level, a fifth section involves a five-day residential trip away from home, living and working alongside other young people they have never met before.
Ms Lavin added: “It has been fun but also very challenging at times. I have learnt lots of new skills and made many new friends.”
Coun Ivan Taylor, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award teaches young people vital skills about growing up, including the values of working hard as well as determination and perseverance. It is also exceptionally well regarded by employers.
“It’s fantastic to see their efforts being rewarded and I’d like to congratulate them all on receiving their awards.”
Anybody interested in doing the Award can find out more information by contacting Anna Elgee at Blackpool Council: firstname.lastname@example.org or (01253) 476603