Stamford Endowed Schools pupils rise to the challenge

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Pupils from Stamford Endowed Schools are celebrating after completing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award [DofE].

The award is open to anyone from the age of 14 to 24 and includes mental and physical challenges.

More than 100 bronze and 42 silver awards were presented to pupils last week by a former head boy of Stamford School, Major Ed Minards, who flies Apache helicopters in the Army and achieved a gold DofE Award.

What’s more 24 gold awards were recently handed to the pupils by Prince Edward at Buckingham Palace.

Major Minards, who was head boy between 2003 and 2004, 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.”

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

While at the school, Major Minards provided a talk to the pupils about the invaluable lessons he learned during his time after the scheme, where he discussed the importance of learning about yourself and looking after a team.

He also stressed some of the qualities needed for survival such as resilience - as well as discussing his experiences as an Apache pilot where he highlighted the need to work as a team.