Every year around 7,000 young people in Northern Ireland start a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme and each year over 3,000 achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Northern Ireland consistently achieves the highest level of participation in the UK.
His Royal Highness was greeted by Mr David Lindsay the Lord-Lieutenant of County Down and went on to meet Mr Ian Webb, Sheriff for County Down and Ms Kate Thompson, Director, Northern Ireland, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award who accompanied HRH throughout the visit.
In the Drawing Room HRH met Mr Edwin Parks, Room Steward, Ms Roberta Turkington MBE, Deputy Room Steward and Mr Martin Gillespie Group Marshall.
In the Drawing Room HRH had the opportunity to chat with approximately 20 young people, family members and friends. Mr Pete Snodden, local Radio Presenter assisted with the presentation of the certificates to the assembled Gold Award participants.
In the Hallway HRH met Ms Audrey Gillian, Music Teacher and a group of musicians from Victoria College, Belfast who provided background music for the occasion.
In the Throne Room HRH met Mr Keith Fleming, Room Steward, Mr Jonathan Graham, Deputy Room Steward, and Group Marshalls, Ms Hilary Smyth and Ms Jane Thompson.
HRH had the opportunity to chat to the 40 or so assembled Gold Award participants, and guests. Mr Alan Simpson, Radio Presenter, assisted with the presentation of the Gold Award certificates to the young people.
In the small Dining Room HRH accepted an invitation to present a representative from the Army Welfare Service with a new Operating Authority License Certificate.
Before a private lunch HRH had the opportunity to meet Mr Gordon Topping OBE, Chair of the DofE’s Advisory Committee along with current and recently retired members of the Committee.
HRH accepted an invitation to sign the visitors’ book before departure.
Notes to Editors
His Royal Highness last visited Northern Ireland in October 2010 when he accompanied Her Majesty The Queen during a two day visit.
Information about The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award can be found at www.DofE.org