Royal seal of approval for Newham’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants
PUBLISHED: 16:02 11 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:02 11 November 2016
The success of Newham’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants were celebrated yesterday at a royal reception.
HRH the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, met 24 young people from the borough’s schools at the Old Town Hall, Stratford.
His visit was part of a nationwide tour to celebrate the charity’s diamond anniversary and promote the Diamond Challenge, a one-off initiative for people of all ages to take on an award-inspired challenge.
He presented the borough’s first Diamond Challenge badge to Cllr Lakmini Shah, as well as giving certificates to representatives of of the African Ladies Group, Forest Gate Older Ladies Group, Russian Ladies Group, and Right Voice Group.
They have developed special conversation cafes across Newham giving residents the chance to talk to others about the challenges they are facing and find ways to tackle and overcome them.
Cllr Shah said: “I am hugely proud to be part of the Diamond Challenge and to be leading the efforts to get the people of Newham involved.
“The Challenge provides a positive opportunity to help Newham’s community with so far more than 600 people signing up to support the conversation cafes initiative.
“I want to continue to link the work of the Diamond Challenge it into our wider work on strengthening the resilience of our community.”
The Earl also heard from young people who have taken part in the scheme, including Plashet School student Sara Patel, who completed her gold award.
She said: “There were times when I was near to tears but the determination to reach the summit and the self belief we gained throughout would not let me quit.
“I knew if I could make it up Snowdon in one piece I could achieve whatever I set my mind to.”
Since 1980, more than 2,500 young people in Newham have achieved an award.
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