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Royal family in attendance for Gold Award presentation

On Thursday, 17 May 2018, Rendcomb College Sixth Form Pupil, Robert Sharman, received his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Buckingham Palace in front of the Royal family and a host of celebrities.

Sixth Form Pupil, Robert Sharman, with 'Bake Off star, Paul Hollywood

18-year-old Robert was presented with the coveted Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Certificate and commemorative brooch alongside Old Rendcombian, James Sinfield who is now studying History at Loughborough University.

Over 1700 recipients of the Gold award attended and were presented with their certificates by The Great British Bake Off star, Paul Hollywood, in front of HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne; HRH the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.

Robert began the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with the Bronze challenge, aged 14, in September 2014. He has since completed a challenge every year including the special Diamond Challenge to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

To achieve the Gold Award Robert and James had to complete five sections which encompassed all the skills he had learnt during the Silver and Bronze Award. Robert chose to undertake 12 months’ volunteering within Rendcomb’s Junior and Senior schools helping with outdoor education activities and forest school events. In addition, Robert also helped the IT department with developing and updating various software and hardware around the school campus.

The award also required him to hone a ‘skill’ over the course of a 12 month period, leading him to develop his shooting skills with the school’s clay pigeon shooting team. Robert has since become captain of the team and represented the school at a number of national competitions.

The key task in the Gold Award was the week-long residential trip for all participants around the country. Robert’s residential was spent mountain biking around the Peak District; he excelled during this week and has been asked to return next year to help run the residential trip for future Gold award participants starting this summer.

Robert said: “Doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award has given me the ability to give back to the community through volunteering while combining many of my passions for the outdoors and shooting.

“The skills and experiences I have learnt over my time in the award has given me many invaluable skills. I would recommend the award, at any level, to all students as it is something I have greatly benefited from.”

Former Student, James Sinfield, is also looking to continue his charitable work following on from achieving the Gold award. In August this year, James plans to visit Uganda, where he will help to build a playground for the children in one of the many disadvantaged rural primary schools in the area.

James is one of the two team leaders for the expedition of 50 students which will leave from Loughborough University.