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Recently, I was privileged to have the opportunity to attend St. James’s Palace to receive my gold Duke of Edinburgh award. The chance to meet His Royal Highness was an unbelievable opportunity and he was very interested in everyone’s experience. He chatted with us for a short time and was a real character.

Our expedition in the Brecon Beacons pushed our team; Ben Hart, Leanne Clark, Freddie Wise and Cormac Brady to our limit. We completed our trip when there was a heat wave in July 2014, the same week when 3 soldiers sadly died. The 25 kilometre trek across the Brecon Beacons in 80F (26.7C) heat each day for 5 days was a huge challenge. We realised that the only way to complete our challenge was to get up at 4.30am and start our trek at 5am each day. This helped us enormously to cope with the heat and we managed to complete it in a record time.

The Gold Duke of Edinburgh encompasses 5 sections; Physical, Volunteering, Skill, Residential and of course, the Expedition.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole D of E experience and highly recommend it for all young people.

Kai Parfitt


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