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News > Alumni news > Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Ceremony at Buckingham Palace

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Ceremony at Buckingham Palace

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Ceremony at Buckingham Palace by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
Buckingham Palace Gardens
Buckingham Palace Gardens

On Friday the 19th of May Dena.V (Goodacres 2017-19) attended The Duke of Edinburgh Award ceremony at Buckingham Palace after achieving her Gold DofE award in 2021. Due to Covid-19 there were delays to expeditions and the award ceremony. 

"I started my Gold Duke of Edinburgh at Glenalmond College where I completed my 12-month volunteering section by volunteering to do a weekly shift as a lifeguard at the school swimming pool. I completed my 6-month skill section by participating in the school choir as well as the concert band where I played the saxophone. I enjoyed learning new music during music lessons and challenging myself with pieces from the concert band and Latin pieces from the choir. Both activities carried on through my time at Glenalmond. I completed my physical section outside the school during holidays training with a personal trainer at Nairn sports club. 

I had planned to do my practice and qualifying expedition at Glenalmond, however, the day before the trip I fell, twisted my ankle, and cut my leg. 

As I had completed my volunteering, skill, and physical sections, I knew I didn't want to give up once I was at university. While studying for my BSc in Nursing, I decided to book my residential with Active Outdoor Pursuits where I spent a week with individuals I hadn't met before, pushing ourselves with outdoor activities such as canyoning, paddle boarding on the Spey, and cycling through the rough mountain terrain in Newtonmore. 

After finishing my second-year placements, I decided over the summer holidays between my 2nd and 3rd year of nursing, that I would get my practice and qualifying expeditions out of the way. I started planning this with the University but due to a number of people having dropped out this wasn't feasible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was hard to find somewhere to do both my residential and expeditions. Lucky for me the company I did my residential with also did expeditions. I booked with them and did my practice and qualifying on expedition one after the other with a day off in between. We planned a practice canoe on Loch Laggan and our qualifying canoe on the Great Glen travelling from Fort William on the Caledonian Canal paddling up Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and Loch Ness all the way into Inverness. Our group's aim was to create a playlist of songs reflecting on the moods and feelings of the trip as well as upbeat songs to keep us going.

This completed my Gold DofE journey.

The Gold Award presentation at Buckingham Palace Gardens was a special day that recognised all the challenges I have faced and overcome and how proud I should be of my achievements".

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