North East Herts MP Oliver Heald was Guest of Honour at the Awards Ceremony for the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme. The ceremony was held at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Stevenage.
Oliver handed out certificates for Bronze and Silver Awards, and also congratulated the Gold Award winners, who will receive their certificates from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh himself.
The Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme in North Hertfordshire is Steve Gibbs and Oliver was introduced by the Head of the John Henry Newman School, Michael Kelly.
In his speech, Oliver pointed out that we often hear criticism of young people, but actually the majority do good things and the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme is one of them. He explained that the Duke had set up the scheme “to provide an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme for personal development”. Oliver told the winners that the Duke was a remarkable man: good sportsman, someone who was mentioned in dispatches and decorated for valour in the Second World War, and that he also had a huge interest in conservation and the environment. Oliver also paid tribute to his work as The Queen’s Consort and also his humanity and dry sense of humour.
Concluding his remarks, Oliver said, “As you will have noticed when walking on your expeditions, when you have climbed one hill, there always seems to be a higher one behind. This is a good lesson for life, that you must go as far as you can see and then see how far you can go, and, as the Award winners will know, you really can go a long way.”