18-year-old Culcheth girl was one of 1,000 young people from across the UK invited to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) and attend a very special, once in a life time, Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace.
Amy Kadodwala received her Gold Award from DofE celebrity supporter Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut, and had the opportunity to share her DofE experiences with the charity’s patron – The Duke of Edinburgh.
The DofE is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary throughout this year, having supported millions of young people in the UK and across the globe to achieve DofE Awards since it was founded in 1956. The prestigious Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace is one of many memorable events taking place to celebrate 60 years of the charity.
Members of the Royal Family – The Duke of Edinburgh, The Earl of Wessex and The Countess of Wessex, congratulated those present including young Gold Award achievers, organisations that deliver the DofE and special guests such as corporate supporters and DofE Diamond Challengers, who have set themselves a personal challenge to raise money for the charity in its anniversary year.
Amy attends Bolton School Girls Division and achieved her Gold DofE Award through Girlguiding Cheshire Forest.
She worked determinedly through five sections of her DofE programme and over 18 months to achieve her Gold Award. Her diverse selection of activities included volunteering with 1st Culcheth Brownies as a Young Leader, learning to drive, ballroom dancing and taking part in a week-long residential at Street Kids Community Village (SKCV) in Vijayawada, India and a demanding expedition in the Snowdonia Mountains with Challenge Expeditions.
Amy said: “DofE has provided me with many varied experiences. My residential trip to India to help at SKCV was a real eye-opener, listening to some of the heart-breaking stories of the children before they arrived at the village contrasting with their sheer joy when we treated them all to a cinema trip, a first for them all.
“My expeditions, both practice and final in Snowdonia each over four days, were by far the most demanding both mentally and physically that I’ve ever undertaken. I had to dig deep, but my determination pushed me on to finish.
“I’m now able to draw on the experience when faced with day to day challenges and know that I can get through them.
“I feel extremely lucky to have been selected to attend the special Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace, speaking with The Duke of Edinburgh, a truly once in a lifetime experience. My award presentation from Chris Hadfield was inspirational with the speech he made, and particularly pertinent to me as a keen scientist, hoping to study Physics at University later this year.”