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Wealth of Duke of Edinburgh Awards Presented to Pupils

Over 100 bronze and silver awards were presented to pupils from Stamford Endowed Schools’ (SES) last week presented by Old Stamfordian and Head Boy of Stamford School (2003-2004), Major Ed Minards, who is currently part of ‘Attack Helicopter Force’ flying Apache helicopters.

During the last year, pupils from SES have gained 104 Bronze, 42 Silver and 24 Gold awards – the latter being presented by HRH Prince Edward at Buckingham Palace. Stamford Endowed Schools has always had a very healthy and thriving uptake of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and one which is set to increase further across both Stamford High School and Stamford School. 

The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award Scheme, which is open to anyone from the age of 14 to 24, comprises three levels each assessing a different set of criteria designed to test mental and physical fortitude whilst learning new skills and pushing personal boundaries – true life skills!

As a Gold DofE Award holder, Major Ed Minards, provided a thought-provoking talk to the pupils about the invaluable lessons that he had learned during his time following the Scheme, from the importance of learning about oneself, but also more critically, to looking after one’s team and all that this involves. He stressed how resilience, determination and trust are just some of the qualities needed for survival.  He captivated the audience with his experiences as an Apache helicopter pilot and the need to work as a team.

Major Ed Minards commended the pupils and said, “I was thrilled to be invited to come back to my old school and a privilege to share my own personal experiences – from completing my gold award, but also afterwards, in the Army. I strongly believe that the skills I acquired during my DofE helped to equip me with the skills and disciplines needed for seeing me through some of my intensive training in the Army. I work by the mantra of ‘Teams are built on a normal day for extraordinary days.’ Good luck to all students.”

Edward Smith, Director of Outdoor Education at the Stamford Endowed Schools commented: “It is always fantastic to give the students the recognition they deserve for the hard work and dedication necessary to gain the award. Having Ed come back and present was a real highlight.”