Royal appointment for George after securing Gold DofE award - The Solihull Observer

Royal appointment for George after securing Gold DofE award

Solihull Editorial 9th Jan, 2017   0

A FORMER Solihull school boy has rubbed shoulders with royalty as he collected his Gold Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award.

George Fereday was invited to St James Palace in London, where he was presented with his prestigious award by Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex.

The 18-year-old first got involved in the DofE award while a pupil at Tudor Grange Academy.

And after completing a four day expedition on the North Yorkshire moors, George has been able to reap the rewards of all his hard work.

He told the Observer: “As part of my Bronze and Silver awards, I had to go to the Cotswolds and the Peak District.

“But the expedition in the moors was a lot harder.

“We had to deal with thick fog, which really tested my navigation skills, and had to work as a team to help everyone and make sure people did not get lost.

“But then on the final day the weather cleared and it got up to 32°C and, as we were very exposed on the moors, meant we had to make sure everyone was drinking enough water.”

But it wasn’t just the expeditions that interested the youngster.

Duke of Edinburgh award applicants are expected to complete a set number of hours volunteering and playing sports.

On top of spending his free time from school on the water at Earlswood Sailing Club, George said he particularly enjoyed his time volunteering in a Knowle care home.

He said: “It was inspiring to work with the residents at the care home – chatting to them and finding out about their lives.

“I particularly remember one woman who I read to because she was blind.

“Of course the expeditions were fun, but the volunteering was really rewarding.

Now in his first year studying Geography at Birmingham University, George believes the skills he learnt as part of his DofE training have helped him in his course.

He particularly thanked his Tudor Grange teacher Mr Brown for helping him hone his navigation skills.

George said: “The opportunities the Duke of Edinburgh award has given me have been invaluable.

“The navigation skills have certainly helped me in my course, and I’ll remember the lessons I have learnt in the future when I start to look for jobs in the petroleum industry.”

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