Shropshire students, past and present, get gold awards at the Palace

Past and present students from a Shropshire college have attended Buckingham Palace to receive their gold Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award.

Sixteen current and former students of Ellesmere College were among 3,000 people from across the country who picked up their awards at the event hosted by Prince Edward, a trustee of the awards scheme, and attended by fellow royals The Duke of Cambridge, Sophie Wessex and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Three current Year 13 students of Ellesmere College and 13 Old Ellesmerians received their awards from Princess Beatrice during a day that will be treasured by all those who attended for many years to come.

Wil Morgan, Thomas Hill, Tom Shallcross, Harry Pochin, Matthew Gozzar, Anthony

Bailey, Josh Harrington, Jonathon Bailey, Jaimie Wakefield, Aster Jones, Vivienne

Humphreys, Bethan Edwards, Catrin Stephens, Tilly Walker, Isabel Cureton and

Olivia Hughes were all honoured.

And there was more joy for the College when physics teacher Debbie Joynson-

Brooke and her husband Frank Brooke were also presented with awards for 28 and

30 years respective service to the awards scheme.

Debbie has been at the College for 20 years, involved in the Combined Cadet Force

and is also currently the Director of Activities.

Headmaster of Ellesmere College Brendan Wignall said: “This was a wonderful day

for all our students who took part in the scheme and obtained the gold award - it was

an experience to enjoy and will live with those who took part for the rest of their lives.

“We are immensely proud of the achievements of all our gold award winners. The

scheme is an asset to the growth and development of our young people across the


“Taking part strengthens character and provides a unique perspective and insight for those involved. It is amazing to think that this scheme helps to prepare nearly half a million young people for life and work across the country every year, we value it very

highly here at Ellesmere College.” Since it was launched, about six million people have taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and nearly three million awards have been presented. The scheme was launched by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1956 and has grown to the point today where it is taken up by more than 10,000 institutions nationally each year, including schools, prisons and youth clubs. It enjoys the support of more than 3,000 partner organisations and some 40,000 adult volunteers.