Churchill Academy

Churchill celebrates DofE success at Buckingham Palace

On 16th May 2016, Chris Hildrew (Headteacher) and Mr Tinker (DofE Manager) from Churchill Academy & Sixth Form attended a once in a life time Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace, London. At the event Mr Tinker was presented with a special plaque from the DofE Charity by Team GB Olympian Gail Emms MBE, acknowledging the Academy’s commitment to running the DofE and thanking it for giving young people the opportunity to transform their lives.  

The DofE is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary throughout 2016, having supported millions of young people in the UK and across the globe to achieve DofE Awards since it was founded in 1956. The prestigious Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace is one of many memorable events taking place to celebrate 60 years of the Charity.

Members of the Royal Family; HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Earl of Wessex and HRH The Countess of Wessex, congratulated those that were present including young Gold Award achievers, organisations that deliver the DofE and special guests such as corporate supporters and DofE Diamond Challengers, who have set themselves a personal challenge to raise money for the DofE Charity in its anniversary year.

Over the course of twenty years running the Award Scheme, hundreds of Churchill’s young people have achieved a DofE Award after volunteering in their community, learning a skill, getting fit, going on an expedition and, for Gold, taking part in a week-long residential. Doing a DofE programme significantly impacts young people’s futures, enabling them to develop vital skills for life and work, such as confidence, commitment, resilience and team work. Widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people, Churchill Academy & Sixth Form holds a licence to deliver DofE programmes to anyone between the ages of 14 and 24 years old.

Andy Tinker, DofE Manager at Churchill Academy & Sixth Form, attended the presentation. Speaking proudly about his involvement with the DofE, Mr Tinker said: “It’s a great honour to have been invited to Buckingham Palace to receive this commemorative plaque to say thank you for our work with DofE during its Diamond Anniversary year. We encourage our students to push themselves out of their comfort zones when doing DofE, and the skills that they develop can be life-changing. I was really proud to see Amy Hogarth from Churchill Academy & Sixth Form receive her Gold Award today as well.”

Amy Hogarth

DofE Manager Mr Tinker with Churchill Academy & Sixth Form Gold Award winner Amy Hogarth

Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive of the DofE Charity said: “Through the DofE, Churchill Academy & Sixth Form is inspiring the success of its young people; equipping them with the attributes and skills to get a job and build strong relationships whilst opening up their worlds and introducing them to a broad range of interests. We are truly grateful to all of our Licensed Organisations for the work that they do, they are an integral part of the DofE family, and our Diamond Anniversary is a fantastic opportunity to say thank you.”  

To celebrate its 60th year, the Charity has launched the DofE Diamond Challenge. This one-off initiative allows people of all ages to take on a DofE inspired challenge and earn their Diamond Pin. Signing up to The DofE Diamond Challenge has an amazing double benefit – whilst challenging yourself, pushing your boundaries, you’re also raising money for the DofE Charity so that it can transform the lives of more young people and offer free places and bursary grants to those most in need. Mr Tinker has already completed his Diamond Challenge – a triathlon! – whilst Mr Hildrew was inspired by the event to sign up to his own, and will be undertaking his bike-ride Diamond Challenge in July. Donations can be made to Mr Tinker here: and Mr Hildrew here: