Young people from across the borough were invited to Buckingham Palace to celebrate their Duke of Edinburgh's success.
In the beautiful surrounds of a sun-drenched palace garden, 5 of the borough's young people received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) Award from HRH The Earl of Wessex Trustee of the DofE, and newsreader John Suchet, marking their outstanding achievement.
Rebecca Bradley, Rowanne McBride, Laura Knowles and Jack Higgins completed their awards with Rochdale Youth Service and Sidrah Asim completed her award at Rochdale Sixth Form College.
The visit to the palace was the final part of their DofE journey where they were able to meet and celebrate with other gold award holders, in the company of royalty and celebrities.
During the presentation, HRH The Earl of Wessex took the opportunity to congratulate the group on their successes and heard about their DofE journeys, which took each winner 18 months of hard work and dedication.
In order to complete the award, each winner volunteered for 12 months across the borough. They completed a skill and physical section for 9 months, undertook a 4-day expedition in a wild country area, being totally self-reliant for the duration – without mobile phones – and completed a 5-day residential.
'They should be incredibly proud of their achievements and I'm sure celebrating at Buckingham Palace will live long in their memory.'
Councillor Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for children's services, said: "This is a fantastic reward for the hard work these young people have put into their Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Achieving the gold award is a really big achievement; it shows that you have key transferrable life skills that will help in your future. Determination, team work and perseverance are all needed. They should be incredibly proud of their achievements and I'm sure celebrating at Buckingham Palace will live long in their memory."
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a youth charity which supports over 300,000 young people aged 14-24 every year. Their aim is to enable young people of every background to take part in the programme and succeed, regardless of any barriers. They help to instil a sense of adventure and have a lasting impact on young people's behaviour, skills and life chances.
Anyone aged between 14 and 24 can do a programme at one of the 3 progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
Young people will achieve a DofE Award if they show persistence, commitment and personal development over a period of time. Every activity must be successfully completed and assessed. The result is the world's leading achievement award for young people, recognised by employers and universities alike. Completing a DofE programme develops young people for life and work. It develops resilience, confidence and a 'can do' attitude as well as the social and communication skills that businesses are calling out for.