Earl of Wessex presents NI young people with gold Duke of Edinburgh awards

HRH the Earl of Wessex speaks to some of the 80 young people from across Northern Ireland who were presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards today at Hillsborough Castle.'The Earl congratulated the Gold Award holders on achieving this milestone and also thanked the organisations that run the DofE, such as schools, youth groups and sporting organisations, and other supporters, for giving participants the opportunity to transform their lives.  Photo by Aaron McCracken
HRH the Earl of Wessex speaks to some of the 80 young people from across Northern Ireland who were presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards today at Hillsborough Castle.'The Earl congratulated the Gold Award holders on achieving this milestone and also thanked the organisations that run the DofE, such as schools, youth groups and sporting organisations, and other supporters, for giving participants the opportunity to transform their lives. Photo by Aaron McCracken

Eighty young people from across Northern Ireland were presented with their gold Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) certificates today by HRH The Earl of Wessex at Hillsborough Castle.

Prince Edward congratulated recipients of the top award on achieving the milestone and also thanked the organisations that run the DofE programme, such as schools, youth groups and sporting organisations, and other supporters, for giving participants the opportunity to transform their lives.

HRH the Earl of Wessex speaks to some of the 80 young people from across Northern Ireland who were presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards at Hillsborough Castle. Photo by Aaron McCracken

HRH the Earl of Wessex speaks to some of the 80 young people from across Northern Ireland who were presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards at Hillsborough Castle. Photo by Aaron McCracken

During the event, 10 organisations were also presented with operating certificates which enables them to offer DofE programmes within their respective operating areas and organisations. In addition, Karen Carson BEM, recently retired DofE manager for the Girls’ Brigade in Northern Ireland, was recognised for over 30 years voluntary service in the role.

Kate Thompson, director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Northern Ireland, said: “Congratulations to all our gold award holders who have celebrated their success today, they have taken on new opportunities and overcome challenges and they should be proud of their hard work.”

Prince Edward completed his two-day visit to Northern Ireland this afternoon with an engagement at Belfast Activity Centre at Barnett Demesne, Belfast.

His visit, during which he met young people involved in Duke of Edinburgh scheme, marked the 30th anniversary of the activity centre.

HRH the Earl of Wessex speaks to Cool FM breakfast host Pete Snodon who took part in the presentation of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards today at Hillsborough Castle.'The Earl congratulated the Gold Award holders on achieving this milestone and also thanked the organisations that run the DofE, such as schools, youth groups and sporting organisations, and other supporters, for giving participants the opportunity to transform their lives.  Photo by Aaron McCracken

HRH the Earl of Wessex speaks to Cool FM breakfast host Pete Snodon who took part in the presentation of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards today at Hillsborough Castle.'The Earl congratulated the Gold Award holders on achieving this milestone and also thanked the organisations that run the DofE, such as schools, youth groups and sporting organisations, and other supporters, for giving participants the opportunity to transform their lives. Photo by Aaron McCracken

HRH the Earl of Wessex meets partners and members of Belfast Activity centre today as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of BAC. Photo by Aaron McCracken

HRH the Earl of Wessex meets partners and members of Belfast Activity centre today as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of BAC. Photo by Aaron McCracken

HRH the Earl of Wessex meets young people investigating a simulated crime scene today at the Belfast Activity centre as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of BAC. Photo by Aaron McCracken

HRH the Earl of Wessex meets young people investigating a simulated crime scene today at the Belfast Activity centre as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of BAC. Photo by Aaron McCracken